Thousands sign up to avoid airport security lines |

Thousands sign up to avoid airport security lines

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
AP file photo

SUMMIT COUNTY ” A new service called “Clear” promises to eliminate the amount of time spent in airport security lines by providing pre-screened members high-tech cards that hold personal identification information.

On Jan. 30, Denver International Airport became one of the 17 airports nationwide that supports the service.

As a card member, individuals are allowed to access designated security lanes which usually have a wait time of under four minutes. Members check-in with a Clear attendant who scan the Clear card, check one form of government issued identification, and verify biometrics information through a fingerprint or iris scan.

Once through the check-in process members proceed to metal detectors, bypassing normal security lines which usually have a much longer wait time.

“I waited in line at DIA last Monday morning for 30 minutes,” said former Denver resident Todd Unger. “The people with the Clear card literally waited 20 seconds.”

Mayor John Hickenlooper was the first person to pass through the new security lane.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, Clear has already signed up more than 2,500 members in the Denver area and hopes to have 50,000 by the end of its first year at DIA.

In a post 9/11 world, airport security has become one of the biggest hassles associated with air travel. According to the Transportation Safety Administration website, average wait times in the DIA security line average about 20 minutes and most travelers budget at least 30 minutes to get through the process.

“Usually the lines at DIA aren’t that bad, but I allow at least a half hour for security lines,” said Dana Beckwith, who flies out of Denver regularly for business. “Last time I was at the airport I noticed a lot of people around the Clear security lane. It looked interesting so I grabbed a brochure.”

Individuals looking to become members can apply online or visit a registration kiosk at any one of the participating airports. There are two Clear lane locations at DIA, one in the Jeppesen Terminal and the other in Concourse A. Both are open daily from 5 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Clear arrived at DIA as part of a multi-year marketing partnership with Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which offers its EarlyReturns loyalty program members with a complimentary year-long membership to Clear.

Clear was established in 2003 to provide airline passengers with an safer, easier, and more efficient way to get through airport security.

Clear card membership costs $128 and individuals who apply for the card submit two forms of government-issued identification as well as biometrics information. This information is then sent to the U.S. Government’s Transportation Security Administration which assesses each applicant for membership.

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