Flying This Summer? Cut TSA Lines for Free

Clear Reserve system lets you reserve your spot at the front of TSA checkpoint queues
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 10:40 AM CDT
Flying This Summer? Cut TSA Lines for Free
Travelers line up at a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on May 26 in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Already dreading long security lines for your next flight? There've long been services that allow you to cut those lines, but you've got to open your wallet and do a good amount of prep work for them. Now, an option for those short on funds and time: the Reserve service by Clear, a free program that allows customers to book a spot ahead of time that sends them to the front of the line at TSA checkpoints, reports the Washington Post.

The Clear site explains how the process works: In advance of your flight (how long in advance depends on the airport), you'd simply log on to make a reservation for the time you'd like to pass through security. You'll receive a QR code that, on the day of your flight, you'll show to a staffer in the Reserve lane near the TSA checkpoint. The service isn't available at every airport—there are about 20 in the US, Canada, and Europe currently listed—and even at those airports, the service may be limited to certain areas. A company rep tells the Post they're working on adding more airports into the mix.

Reserve customers must still remove their shoes and jackets and take their electronics out for screening. Clear also offers a paid service called Clear Plus, which for the price of $189 per year allows users to not only skip to the front of the line, but also to not have to show ID; instead, your eyes or fingerprints are scanned. TSA PreCheck also offers a paid service ($78 for five years) that, because you've gone through advance vetting, means you don't have to remove your shoes, jacket, laptop, or other items. Reserve remains an option for those who don't want to pay. "Travelers can now save even more time by seamlessly reserving their spot in the security line," a Clear rep says in a statement to Travel + Leisure. (More security checkpoint stories.)

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