How Big a Deal Is the New CLEAR Perk for Delta Diamonds & SkyMiles members (or Will It Become)?

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news from CLEARME web site

Shot from CLEAR website news

Last week was a flurry of new news that came out of Delta. One of the things you may have missed was the announcement that soon (we just don’t know when yet) Delta Diamonds will get the “free” perk (and discounted for other SkyMiles members) of CLEAR or CLEARME membership to be able to get faster access through security at airports (and some other places too). What airports you ask?

airports that currently have clear

3MAY16 airport locations where CLEAR is

Now you may notice a slight problem with this current map. There are no airports included that are Delta hubs. There is one that WAS a Delta hub, that is, DFW, but no current Delta hubs. The only hub-ish city is SFO but I have never had to wait for TSA PRE Check for very long at that airport, but maybe that is different for you as an SFO traveler (see my review of the new SFO Sky Club here btw)

So when will we see CLEAR at Delta hubs? The PR release says:

“Delta Air Lines and CLEAR are partnering to bring CLEAR’s expedited security experience to more major airports across the country, ultimately reducing the time spent by customers in security lines.” – Bold Mine

That sounds good but not any kind of firm dates have come forth on just how long it will “ultimately” take to A) Give SkyMiles members this perk and more importantly B) when we will see CLEAR at an airport you fly Delta out of.

What we will have to enjoy very soon is a bunch of “CLEAR-name” stuff to learn like our current “SKY-name” words that Delta comes up with. Take a look at a short list:

  • CLEARme
  • CLEARlane
  • CLEARcard
  • CLEARcards
  • CLEARlocations

Oh and I am sure they will be coming out with CLEARsky or SKYclear or a bunch of other new fun ones to brand and market to us.

OK enough with the funny stuff. Once this is up and running it will be great. Bio-metrics removes the need for fumbling for your ID because the site says: “Just scan your boarding pass, tap your finger and we’ll escort you straight to physical screening.

where to find mobile passport 3may16

Where to find “Mobile Passport”

I love the idea of this program. I love that if this, and FREE programs like the “Mobile Passport” were at tons of locations we could have some real competition to TSA PRE Check that sometimes can be closed or not up and running (or understaffed etc.).

For now, as they roll out more and more of both of these technologies there is a positive slant to them both. “Most” travelers are not going to have them or use them. That means we can take advantage of them and have REALLY fast access where they are in place. Think of the first days of TSA PRE Check when “we” were the only ones who had it. Remember how much fun that was?

So what are your thoughts on CLEAR? Are you excited about this new Delta tie-in and Medallion and SkyMiles member perk? – René

 

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14 comments

  1. Will going through Clear take you to the front of the PreCheck line (if there is one)? I can’t think of one time in which I’ve been in a security line and seen the advantage of Clear over PreCheck.

  2. @Kevin – That is my understanding and the reason, for now, this will be so sweet (until the Clear lines become as long as TSA PRE).

  3. Don’t see the advantage here. It is another way to get money from passengers. BTW, Delta bought 5% of Clear so that is why they are interested in advertising this service.

  4. Then I will jump over to the TSA PRE line :)! And if both of those are too full then back to the regular line. It will be interesting to see what happens if CLEAR and TSA PRE become so full that it might force people to go to the regular line. I have already done this when the TSA PRE line is longer than the regular screening.

  5. Rene,
    I have never seen Clear (in DEN) bring people to the front of Pre-Check only to the front of normal screening. This to me is not a perk. If they are allowed to jump the Pre-Check line then it will be, but until then….

  6. CLEAR. I love it! The TSA Pre-Check line in my hometown airport at MCO continues to grow… and with more and more people who act as if they’ve never flown before. I hate when that happens.

    I rarely see passengers in the CLEAR line. And the few who use it look as if they are prepared to move quickly through security after the ID check.

    Can’t wait for Delta to CLEAR the air as to when it’ll start.

  7. A few months ago Delta made headlines when they announced that they were considering a private security vendor to replace TSA at ATL. TSA responded by saying that it is possible to do that.

    Delta has discovered that they cannot fix TSA no more than we can fix the IRS. So now Delta takes partial ownership of Clear. That would be step one in replacing TSA. Except Delta doesn’t really want to replace TSA – they want to replace TSA for their best customers. L

    If you’ve got the money, and Delta does, and if you’ve got a willing partner, and the Atlanta airport authority is, then you can bypass TSA. It’s an end run around an inept government bureaucracy. Actually a very smart move. Look for Delta to roll Clear out to airports where TSA is pitiful and HVC originate.

  8. As long as the CLEAR program allow to use the pre-check line and can jump in the front of the pre-check line, otherwise, it really doesn’t add much. The real value of the pre-check line is not to have to mess with shoes, computer, and 311. The ID check is pretty insignificant and not usually the bottleneck.

  9. Rene- good news, thanks for sharing. As a DM, how soon, where and when can we get?

  10. @Kevin – No idea and they are not telling. My guess is some time this summer or early fall.

  11. Rene, read ajc.com (Atlanta journal constitution) and there is an article that says the Atlanta airport is shutting down a small checkpoint at hartsfield airport so that construction can begin on a joint venture between delta and TSA to try to speed security lines. Think is going to be a CLEAR lane? Construction is supposed to take three weeks.

  12. If you are TSA Pre, it will bring you to the front of the TSA Pre line as well. This is very helpful at SFO if you are in United Terminal 3, not very beneficial in SFO Terminal 1 where Delta is. I have Diamond, Pre, and Clear, and I can tell you where Clear is it is a great service if there are any lines of any sort.

  13. I have just begun working for Clear at IAD and find the concept amazing and job extremely exciting. I look forward to moving up in the company quite expeditiously as they continue to grow. Clear is a clear cut through the id check portion of security and if you couple that with TSA’s physical security pre check offer, you should be able to expedite your time from car to gate when traveling by knocking off at least an hour of standing in lines(in most cases). Clear is a great concept and I look forward to them opening at LAX so I can return home to California with Clear. JAF

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