Clear-TSA PreCheck partnership on the horizon
It can be difficult to keep track of all the different subscriptions and services associated with air travel in 2023.
From TSA pre-check For Clear And Global entry, several programs aim to speed up or improve your airport experience, each with its own rules, fees and application process.
However, there could be a major simplification on the horizon for two of these programs. Clear, an annual membership service that allows paying members expedited ID screening at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and select stadiums, is working on a future partnership to let people apply for TSA PreCheck at Clear locations. specific.
Clear and the TSA confirmed that the partnership could potentially streamline the application process for the two programs, which require separate applications and in-person interviews.
The TSA is also partnering with information technology and cybersecurity company Telos to offer TSA PreCheck enrollments, giving travelers more ways to complete the maintenance process.
This means that Clear and Telos will soon be able to process TSA PreCheck requests, in addition to TSA’s existing enrollment provider, Idemicwhich processed more than 15 million TSA PreCheck requests over the better part of a decade.
What is the difference between Clear and TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck allows registered and verified passengers who pay the registration fee to access the expedited security lane. It currently costs $78 for a five-year subscription, although some credit cards offer credit.
These passengers also benefit from a less cumbersome checkpoint experience. For example, shoes and light jackets can stay in place, laptops and liquids can stay in bags and usually members don’t have to go through the biggest body scanner.
Clear members who pay its annual dues of $189 (although there are ways to get discounts) enjoy an even faster journey through airport security. Members first have their identity verified by biometrics at a Clear kiosk – no driver’s license or passport required – then are escorted by a Clear representative to the front of the security line.
But here’s the catch today: passengers can get through identity and physical security checks faster if they register for both Clear and TSA PreCheck. Applications for the two options are separate at this time, but that may change soon.
How the Clear/TSA PreCheck partnership works
Clear and Telos are currently testing their technology and enrollment processes, TSA press secretary R. Carter Langston told NerdWallet via email. He expects the rollout to happen “sooner rather than later”, but did not give a specific timeline.
After testing, a Clear spokesperson said the company “will be approved by the TSA to begin offering TSA PreCheck enrollment services to the public in select locations using Clear pods.”
Considering that Clear can enroll a member at airport kiosks for its current services in minutes, this could make the TSA PreCheck enrollment process easier for passengers who, theoretically, would no longer need to make a separate trip to a registration site for an interview check.
Neither Clear nor the TSA said whether this partnership and a potentially streamlined application process could affect pricing.
The TSA PreCheck program is expected to expand
The reason the TSA is embracing these new enrollment partnerships with Clear and Telos is simple: the agency is seeing record enrollment in PreCheck and just wants the program to grow.
The agency scored 15 million members in early March and followed its highest single sign-up day in the program’s decade-old history in February.
While frequent flyers might not be too thrilled to have more passengers in the fast-track line, the agency reports that 92% of PreCheck passengers still wait five minutes or less at checkpoints.
The agency sees growth as a win for everyone.
“It allows our TSA agents … to focus on those who have not been screened,” Langston says. “We expect even more opportunities, even more possibilities, for people to become members of TSA PreCheck, and see this as nothing more than a definite benefit in expanding access to TSA PreCheck. “
How to Apply for TSA PreCheck and Clear Now
While this still indicates other potential changes in the pipeline for these programs, for now your best option is probably to submit a request for a TSA PreCheck on the TSA website. Additionally, you can register through the US Department of Homeland Security. Trusted Traveler Programs Webpage.
This is also where you can choose to register for Global Entry. It costs $100 for five years, just $22 more than PreCheck. But in addition to PreCheck access, it allows you to clear US customs more quickly after an international trip.
Travel cards that cover the cost of TSA PreCheck
Cards that refund Global Entry fees
As for Clear, you can start the registration process online and complete it at one of the company’s kiosks or do it entirely in person.
Expanded partnership between Clear and TSA PreCheck
The TSA wants PreCheck to grow. To do this, it is adding new partners who can help travelers simplify the registration process. This includes Clear, the biometrics-centric service which, in conjunction with PreCheck, offers paying members a lightning-fast journey through airport security.
While we still have a lot to learn about this partnership, it could likely help streamline the application process for new members in years to come.
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