Travel Related

Why is CLEAR not Offering Anything During the COVID Crisis (like everyone else has)?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The above is an e-mail I recently got from CLEAR. On any normal year I would have been expecting it – but not this year.

Sceenshot from clearme.com

Let me begin with the fact that I am a huge fan of CLEAR. I have had it for a long time now and love it. I loved, a few months ago, zipping past what was long lines at TSA PreCheck (since everyone has PreCheck now). While I had not used my CLEAR with Hertz I did like the combo with the Presidents Circle membership I got from Delta as a Diamond Medallion – a sweet partnership (not sure the value now with Hertz in bankruptcy but…).

CLEAR really is the perfect solution for security now in the COVID age. As you can see above, we can use our eyes to be scanned and never touch anything (finger scanner can be only for backup). We can show our phone to the TSA folks and again never touch anything. Yes, it is better to have TSA PreCheck in combination with CLEAR but I think many who go for CLEAR have both (correct me if I am wrong readers).

But right now I am not flying.

Most of us are not flying.

I likely will not fly until 2021!

Why should I pay for CLEAR?

And that is my point. For me, Delta has extended my Diamond status for another year so personally I will have to pay ZERO for my CLEAR membership. That would be the same even if Delta had not extended it because I took a year end elite mileage run to Belgium for dinner to make sure I kept my status for another year.

Not everyone did what I did at year end.

My wife, as of 1 FEB 2020, dropped from Diamond Medallion to Skymiles member. She is now just my “plus one” Diamond lite when we fly (whenever that is one day again). She will no longer have free CLEAR membership. Sure, there is a solution for us. Take a look.

I have added her onto my CLEAR membership as a family member and my AMEX Green card will fully rebate me (via statement credit) for the discounted CLEAR family member charge (there are other ways to get a reduced rate as well fyi).

But, IMO, I should not have to do this in 2020.

Why is CLEAR not stepping up since, as already mentioned, they have a perfect security solution, and extending membership for a period of time? Even just an automatic 6 month extension would show they, like every other major travel related company, cares and understands no one is traveling or has been for most of this year.

You tell me. Are you disappointed CLEAR has not offered us anything at all in 2020? – René

 

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

15 Comments

  1. Barry Graham Reply

    If I had paid I’d be disappointed. But since I didn’t, why do I deserve a free extension?

  2. Gregory W Howell Reply

    Clear gave me a three month extension. WOW. I was hoping for something a lot better.

  3. Let’s be clear, you had a free membership for a year because of the DL status – which you didn’t maintain – and you want an extension?

    • @M Casey – I did keep my Delta Diamond status (maybe you need to re-read the post?). Also, I got the “free” membership by paying for a business class mileage run to finish the year (so not really “free”)! Lastly, I did not want an extension for me (again read the post) but for others who maybe did not spend to keep Diamond status for another year and could not fly to start the year.

  4. I ended up cancelling when I realized that I wouldn’t be traveling this year. They made no real effort to try and keep me.

    • @Yaakov – You make my point. They should just extend till 2021 (or longer) to not lose customers who may never come back. We should not have to call or chat and nag for 3 months again and again and again.

  5. As others have mentioned, CLEAR began offering three-month extensions at the beginning of the shutdowns. Just as with some travel companies (like IHG) that have extended three months and then provided another three months after realizing this is not over, I presume CLEAR will do the same. No issues. We’ll still be better off at the end as we’ll be traveling again (if not already) before the free extension ends.

  6. Like you, René, I’m likely not flying much this year. I turned off the auto-renew and let my CLEAR lapse. While I like it fine–when it works–I’ve been on the fence about CLEAR anyhow. It’s not available in my primary airport (TPA). At my secondary airport (ATL), the wait time in the Medallion line is basically the same as the wait time in the CLEAR line, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but neither by more than a few minutes. This is based on my pre-COVID-19 weekly experiments for the past three years.

  7. I guess outside of the 3 mth extension what should they do? And should they carte blanche do that for everyone? Maybe? But there are some people who are traveling a ton right now.

    Has Precheck/GE done anything. I mean we can still travel although I agree it’s silly to do so.

    Just because I haven’t gotten use out of my GE lately doesn’t mean others aren’t.

    • @Shawn – You make a good point about GE and PreCheck. I would welcome them also to grant a 1 year extension.

      You say there are a ton of people who are traveling now. Delta’s CEO says in May they were averaging about 5% of the previous years load levels. That, IMO, is not a ton.

  8. Clear gave me free hand sanitizers (3) on clips at LAX airport. I refill them. Very thankful.

  9. Got 15% off on my renewal. which with my AMEX GREEN card comes to zero. Not that worried about it

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