BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the season of summer travel and for many airports, the busiest days are yet to come. That means long lines through security checkpoints everyone wants to beat.
George Solis has a look at the service that helps skip lines altogether.
The service is called “Clear” and it’s been at BWI for more than a year. The idea is to avoid the lines and get to your flight with a look or simple touch.
When it comes to air travel, most passengers will tell you the same thing when it comes to security lines.
“I’m looking forward to not having to spend so much time in line,” said one.
Services like “Clear” are helping some do just that.
“What Clear has done is not different of what ATM machines have done or what E-Z Pass has done,” said CEO Caryn Siedman Becker.
The private company uses what’s called biometric authentication—eye or fingerprint scans—to verify who you are. It’s different from the TSA Pre-Check, which allows previously screened passengers to go through an expedited physical screening.
The company says at least 40% of their 600,000 use both services.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory. I was a little taken aback at how much the machine knew,” said one traveler.
The company says the protecting of private information of passengers is paramount.
The cost of all the time saved? $179 a year for Clear and $85 for five years of TSA Pre-Check. The service does have some critics, like passenger rights advocate Charlie Leocha.
“I think that it’s creating one more break between the upper crust and the hoi polloi, which is not healthy,” Leocha said.
Others say if it means saving time, it’s worth it.
“Security line check in waits can vary from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. With Clear, there’s a guarantee of predictability and speed,” one said.
Speed tells WJZ they can get you through the TSA screening is five minutes or less. The service is at 13 airports nationwide and more are expected to be added by the of the year.
Those interested can sign up at any of the kiosks at the airport or online.