Technology that lets you skip long lines at the airport

Fly clearAs I waited in line at airport security, stripping off my belt, my shoes, and anything else I thought might trigger an alarm, I noticed something interesting: a few travellers were going through a special, very short line in record time.

I watched closely (what else was I gonna do, I was waiting in line). They had special cards like the one in the photo, and they stopped at a kiosk for a sci-fi style retina scan. After that, the attendants scurried them through the X-ray machines, helping get everything organized so they moved through quickly.

Since I was still waiting, I grabbed a handy brochure. I had plenty of time to think about how nice it would be to get this special treatment myself. Turns out I can have it for $128/year and some paperwork to prove I’m a fine upstanding American citizen. High-school hijinks aside, that shouldn’t be a problem.

You can learn more at Clear’s website. They have lanes at about 20 airports across the U.S. Sadly, they don’t have this service in St. Louis, yet, nor is it available at the locations where I fly most frequently. When you check your local airport, make sure the lanes are available for the airlines you fly. I noticed that having Clear in an airport doesn’t guarantee they provide service at every single terminal.

Nonetheless, I am excited about such a creative and practical use of technology. The website is easy to navigate, and the entire service is founded on robust systems, from the secure database to the portable smart card and biometrics (fingerprint and retina scans).

It’s an ingenious time-saving service at a bargain price. I’ll be signing up the second they offer it locally.

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One thought on “Technology that lets you skip long lines at the airport

  1. Now that is a value based service. If you’ve ever nearly missed a flight (who me, running late – LOL) due to security you know this satisfies the Go-Giver Law #1 “Give more in value than you take in payment” many times over.

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