What’s the worst part of a vacation? If you’re thinking any version of, “vacation ending,” I agree. A close second on the list is the slow-moving TSA line. While I appreciate the security, who has time to shuffle through the winding line then show a boarding pass and ID? If you’re like me and want to save time at the airport, there is a simple, affordable way to skip the long TSA line and get to the scanner in seconds.
My first cruise when the industry began to restart was on Virgin Voyages in October 2021. Once I was on the Scarlet Lady the cruise experience was fantastic but as always, the airport experience getting to Miami was less than fun. We arrived hours early because there is no way to know how long the TSA line will be and shuffling along through the winding line while watching the clock tick closer to boarding time adds stress to an already stressful day. Fortunately, after about 40 minutes we made it to the TSA officer, showed our ID and boarding passes and went through the scanner.
If you’ve flown anywhere since 9/11 you’re familiar with this process because until recently, unless you were a Trusted Traveler, saving time at the airport was nothing more than wishful thinking. On the way back while Jen and I were again looking at a long line of people shuffling up to the TSA officer, a Clear employee asked if we wanted to skip the line. She explained how they would verify my identity, scan my eyes (biometric wizardry!), and allow me to skip the long line in a lot of airports and venues.
Signing up included a full explanation of all the benefits and costs, verification, and biometric scan took fewer than 10 minutes before I was escorted to the front of the line where I zipped through the scan of my carry-on and metal detector. Beginning to end, I was on my way to the gate in fewer than 15 minutes. Saving time at the airport was no longer a fantasy and it cost me about $15/month.
My next flights were in November and January. Each time — on outbound and returning flights — Clear booths were conveniently located and agents were there to assist and answer questions (Clear is not complicated but it’s nice to have a guide) before escorting me to the TSA agent at the front of the line. In both cases Clear was a time saver and reduced my travel stress so drastically that Jen and I mentioned repeatedly what a great value it was.
If you fly even a couple times a year and want to save time at the airport, Clear offers a great service and is expanding rapidly to airports around the country and soon throughout the world.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.