Anything but CLEAR
Flying home to DC, I encountered the CLEAR podium once again at SFO. I was once a member, but canceled almost immediately, overcome by the awkwardness of the process.
If you haven’t heard of CLEAR, it’s a service that prescreens you and allows you to “skip the line” at airport security. The point of the prescreening is unclear, as the membership only affects your placement in the security line. You still pass through all the same security checks as the unscreened masses, but you skip the line.
What they don’t mention is that you don’t really skip the line, you cut it. There is a difference between skipping and cutting. Skipping means bypassing. Cutting involves being placed in front of already wary and annoyed travelers – most of whom have no idea what CLEAR is, let alone any respect for its rules.
The process is annoying for everyone. CLEAR participants have a new and highly...
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