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CLEAR is a program that relies on biometrics and allows enrolled travelers to reduce the amount of time they spend passing through security at select US airports by automating the document check portion of the TSA’s screening process.
This isn’t a program with which I have any experience as I have Global Entry and, as a result, TSA PreCheck, and I find those to be more than sufficient for my needs…but I know people who wouldn’t be without CLEAR membership and for some United flyers, it’s about to get significantly cheaper to enroll.
United Airlines is taking an equity investment in CLEAR and, courtesy of this investment, it is offering its flyers discounted or free membership of the CLEAR program.
Beginning today, CLEAR and United are offering free CLEAR membership for Global Services and Premier® 1K® members. In addition, Premier Platinum, Gold and Silver members as well as most United credit card members receive a discounted membership rate of $109 while all other MileagePlus members are eligible for a discounted offer of $119 per year. An annual CLEAR membership retails for $179.
United is once again following in Delta’s footsteps here but at least this time it’s following it down a flyer friendly path.
Delta already offers free CLEAR membership to its Diamond Medallion members with Platinum, Gold & Silver members as well as Delta SkyMiles credit cardholders all paying $109/year and entry-level SkyMiles members paying $119/year.
This all means just two things:
- United’s equity stake in CLEAR doesn’t appear to be offering its flyers anything that Delta flyers don’t already get (and used to get for less – fees increased in April this year).
- I have no idea if an annual CLEAR membership really retails for $179 or not but you’d have to be a little foolish to pay that. Both Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus are free to join and both offer entry-level members CLEAR membership for just $119mso why would anyone pay any more?
Still, it would be churlish of me not to point out that this is good news for United elites
United’s new partnership with CLEAR is essentially offering Global Services members and 1K members a $119 discount on CLEAR membership while other United Elites now save a further $10 off membership….and that’s all very good news if you happen to fall into any of those categories.