Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.
CLEAR is a service both René and I love. Many Delta flyers — not just elites — can take advantage of fairly significant CLEAR discounts!
What is CLEAR?
CLEAR uses fingerprint and retina scans to positively identify people at security checkpoints. It’s currently available at more than 60 airports, stadiums, and other venues across the United States.
At airports, program members present their boarding passes to CLEAR representatives (or “Ambassadors,” as the company calls them). The reps scan the passenger’s boarding pass and electronically match their fingerprints to scans provided at the time of registration.
Retina scans — also provided when completing the registration phase at a CLEAR location — are used when fingerprints don’t seem to register. The problem seems to usually be caused by the passenger pressing his or her fingers down too hard, too lightly, or at an odd angle. (I speak from experience!)
There’s no need for a picture ID (unless you’re randomly selected for TSA verification) — you are your identity! And it’s pretty hard to forge yourself (at least, for now…)
Once the passenger is verified, he or she is escorted to the front of their applicable TSA line: standard screening or TSA Pre√.
René has long espoused CLEAR (even saying it’s better than chocolate! and declaring it a “must-have travel perk”!) and how it helps not just domestic passengers but those returning from international trips, as well. Since I signed up in 2016, it’s come in very helpful at LAX, Austin, and BWI (where the Pre√ line was 45 minutes!).
I’ve noticed its time savings is most significant during morning departures.
CLEAR is now offered at various stadiums and venues. As this television report details, CLEAR members can jump the line (similar to the airport experience). Membership is free for stadium visitors — however, the 100% discounted is valid only at the stadium or venue where they register.
What if you want to use CLEAR at all their locations? Is there a way around the $179 annual fee?
CLEAR Discounts for Delta Air Lines Travelers
The $179 annual fee is discounted to $119 for general SkyMiles members. In other words, you don’t even have to fly Delta — just a SkyMiles account entitles you the discount.
- Platinum Medallions
- Gold Medallions
- Silver Medallions
- Delta SkyMiles credit card holders
You don’t have to be a Delta Medallion to get the nearly 40% discount! Having a Delta Amex (for those not quite at Silver status) still entitles you to a nice discount. (Remember the 50% cash back welcome bonus offer expiring tomorrow on four Delta Amexes!)
Diamond Medallions pay $0 for CLEAR membership. Free. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
If you were a paying CLEAR member before reaching Diamond Medallion status, there’s a chance you may be charged. Monitor the statements for whichever credit card you used to originally pay for CLEAR. If you are charged, call their customer service line (1-855-CLEARME or 1-855-253-2763). That’s what happened to me and the charge was credited back.