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We've Compared Trusted Traveler Programs + Clear to Help You Speed Through Airport Security Lines


Security lines are a frustration even for the most experienced travelers out there and something we would all prefer to avoid.


To help you expedite the airport security process and make the best decisions about services available to you, we have compared compared the most common U.S. Trusted Traveler Programs, including CLEAR. These programs provide modified screening for pre-approved members and improve security by being more efficient during screenings.


According to the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website, the Trusted Traveler Programs are risk-based programs to facilitate the entry of pre-approved travelers. All applicants are vetted to ensure they meet the qualifications for the program to which they are applying. Receiving a "Best Match" or program recommendation based on eligibility or travel habits does not guarantee acceptance into any Trusted Traveler program.


We hope that with this comparison you will not only be more knowledgeable about them, but also feel more comfortable choosing the one that best fits your needs.


TSA Pre✓®

How does it work?

It saves time and reduces stress. By enrolling in this program, travelers have no need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets, and benefit from expedited security screening (where most travelers get through Security in 5 minutes or less).

Eligibility U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents.

How much does it cost?

$78 for five years

How do I get it?

1. Apply Online

Submit the online application in 5 minutes or less and schedule an appointment at any of 400+ enrollment centers

2. Enroll

Attend your in-person appointment to provide fingerprints, supply citizenship and ID documents, and pay $78. Find an enrollment center near you.

3. Enjoy TSA Pre✓®

Once approved, add your Known Traveler Number to your airline reservations and enjoy your membership for 5 years. See list of participating airlines.

Do children need to sign up?

Children under 12 do not need to sign up for TSA Pre✓®; however, may accompany a parent/guardian with TSA Pre✓® in the designated lanes.

Where is it available?

Enjoy benefits at more than 200 airports within the U.S on over 60 participating airlines. Check out the latest map of every TSA Pre✓® location.


Global Entry

How does it work?

Global Entry is the international version of TSA Pre✓®. If you are approved for Global Entry, TSA Pre✓® benefits will be included.

When you return from an international vacation, Global Entry members can skip the traditional customs declaration lines and head for the self-serve kiosks. Simply insert your passport, scan your fingers, take a picture, and answer a few questions. Then, you’ll be on your way to collect your bags.

Eligibility U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and select foreign nationals.

How much does it cost?

$100 for five years

How do I get it?

Global Entry membership requires a more thorough screening than TSA Pre✓® so there are fewer locations to perform your interview.

1. Apply Online

Submit the online application.

2. Enroll

Applicants who are conditionally approved can complete their interviews upon arrival into the United States at an Enrollment on Arrival location or by scheduling an appointment at an Enrollment Center.

Note: If you are flying internationally into the US within the next 6 months, we encourage you to complete your Global Entry enrollment at an Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) location as an alternative to scheduling an interview at an Enrollment Center. Find an enrollment center near you.

3. Membership

Once accepted, your membership will last for 5 years.

Do children need to sign up?

Every person needs to sign up for Global Entry, regardless of their age.

Where is it available?

Global Entry program members can use Global Entry Customs Kiosks at more than 75 airports when returning to the U.S. from travel abroad.

Additionally, 17 countries have reciprocal agreements with Global Entry to access their expedited security programs. Additional International Arrangements.


NEXUS

How does it work?

If you regularly cross the US-Canada border, consider applying for a NEXUS card. The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada.

Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports.

NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

Eligibility

U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, and Mexican nationals.

How much does it cost?

$50 for five years

How do I get it?

1. Apply Online

Submit the online application.

2. Enroll

Schedule & attend your in-person appointment. Find an enrollment center near you.

3. Membership

Once accepted, your membership will last for 5 years.

Do children need to sign up?

Every member of the traveling party will need their own membership in order to use the designated entry lanes.

Where is it available?

Nexus lanes are available on US-Canada borders (click here for locations and time information) and Global Entry benefits apply to wherever the program is available (as mentioned above).


CLEAR

How does it work?

While TSA Pre✓®, Global Entry, and NEXUS are government-run programs, CLEAR is a private company that is certified by the Department of Homeland Security.

This is an additional service that can work in coordination with TSA Pre✓® and Global Entry. You don’t need to have either of those programs to be a member; however, CLEAR does not provide all the benefits of the Trusted Programs by itself.

Although travelers who sign up for this program will have access to expedited security lines, this will not prevent them from being regularly scanned.

How much does it cost?

$179 per year

Up to three family members can be added for only $60 each.

How do I do to get it?

You can register for CLEAR online or at the airport. The CLEAR representatives will verify your identification and scan your biometrics (fingerprints and irises).

The registration process takes just a few minutes and does not require an appointment.

Do children need to sign up?

Children under 18 can use CLEAR for free when they are accompanied by an adult who is a CLEAR member without the need to add them to the membership.

Where is it available?

CLEAR is available at more than 50 airports, stadiums, and venues across the country. After signing up, CLEAR also allows members to skip the lines at some sporting events and concerts, depending on the venue.

In Seattle, CLEAR is currently present in 2 locations (Sea-Tac International Airport and Lumen Field), as well as in San Francisco (SFO International Airport and Oracle Park). Check here for all US locations.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have partnerships with CLEAR.



Note from the DHS: If you do not travel multiple times per year internationally, we recommend applying for the TSA PreCheck Program. Most TSA PreCheck applicants can schedule an appointment in less than 2 weeks and, if approved, can receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in about 3 to 5 days after the appointment. Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST are experiencing application processing delays and have limited interview availability. While many applications are quickly reviewed, in some cases the process can take from 6-18 months to complete. Moreover, interview availability in various regions is limited. We encourage applicants to check interview appointment availability at a preferred Enrollment Center before applying. Find an Enrollment Center: Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS.

Current Global Entry applicants or first time Global Entry applicants whose applications have already been conditionally approved may also participate in our Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) program. No appointment is needed and this option may offer the fastest path to membership approval for individuals with upcoming international travel. Information can be found on the following Website: Find a Global Entry EoA Location


Before committing to a traveler programs, use the tool on the Trusted Traveler Programs website to find your “Best Match” (without CLEAR): https://ttp.dhs.gov/


Contact us to update your traveler profile with this information so it can be automatically included in your reservations going forward.




Sources:

ttp.dhs.gov, “Trusted Traveler Programs”

clearme.com

afar.com, “TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear: What’s the Difference”? by Ramsey Qubein. October 05, 2021

cntraveler.com, “United Airlines is giving its frequent fliers free membership to CLEAR” by Jessica Puckett. July 29, 2019

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