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Members of United’s loyalty program just got a new perk: the ability to speed through airport security with a free or discounted Clear membership.
The membership allows passengers to skip the ID check and use dedicated lanes to verify their identity at Clear kiosks with facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanning.
MileagePlus Global Services and Premier 1K members will receive free Clear membership, which normally retails for $179. Premier Platinum, Gold, Silver and United credit card members can purchase a Clear membership at a discounted annual rate of $109. All other MileagePlus members are eligible for a $119 rate. These offers only apply to U.S.-based MileagePlus members.
Existing Clear members can get the discount on their next renewal by adding their MileagePlus number to their Clear accounts. Clear accounts that have been renewed or created in the past 60 days are eligible for a refund for the difference in price.
A Clear membership is separate from TSA Precheck or Global Entry. While Clear allows members to skip the identity verification in favor of biometric screening, TSA Precheck and Global Entry expedite the physical screening process. Travelers with TSA Precheck don’t have to take laptops or liquids out of their bags and can keep their belts and shoes on. The services are complementary; they don’t overlap.
More than 30 U.S. airports have Clear lanes, including United’s hubs in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles. United is also supporting Clear’s efforts to start operating at Chicago-O’Hare, Newark and Houston-Intercontinental in the coming months.
How to get the offer
Enroll in Clear before your trip using this link.
Finish your enrollment by visiting a Clear location, where a representative will help capture your eyes and fingerprints. It should only take about five minutes, and you don’t need an appointment.
Start using the Clear dedicated lanes at the airport. Your biometric data (eyes and fingerprints) will confirm your identity. Then keep moving to the luggage screening and body scan.
The bottom line
United is playing catch-up to Delta, which already offers a similar discounted pricing structure for Clear membership. The difference is that the United℠ Explorer Card has an advantage — the card already comes with a $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry fee credit, so cardholders have access to both types of expedited security screening for less.
This type of perk makes airport travel more convenient and faster, but it’s probably only worth purchasing the Clear membership if you’re a frequent traveler who consistently flies out of participating airports.