CLEAR Is Expanding To JFK Terminal 4

Filed Under: Security/TSA

I’m a huge fan of CLEAR, and have written about it quite a bit in the past. I signed up for it last year, and it has saved me a significant amount of time.

The benefit of being a CLEAR member is that instead of lining up to have your ID checked in the regular line or Pre-Check line, you can go to the CLEAR line, scan your fingerprints, and then you’re escorted past the ID checker. With TSA Pre-Check lines sometimes being longer than the regular lines nowadays, this lets you skip to the front of even that line.

It doesn’t always save me time, though what I appreciate is that it makes my airport experience consistent. I’m always on my way within a few minutes.

While the normal price for CLEAR is $179 per year, nobody should actually be paying that much. Just for being a SkyMiles member (without any status) you get a reduced price of $99 per year, and the price goes down even more if you have status.

The only real downside to CLEAR is that they don’t have that many locations. CLEAR is available at about two dozen airports at the moment.

At some airports they have a great setup. For example, at LAX they have locations at every terminal except Tom Bradley International Terminal. At other airports they have terrible setups. For example, at MIA they were only able to get space at the E Concourse security line, which doesn’t even have Pre-Check, so you have to decide whether you want CLEAR or Pre-Check.

JFK can be one of the worst airports in the country when it comes to security lines, though as of now CLEAR only has a location at Terminal 2, which is one of the smaller terminals at the airport.

So there’s some really good news on that front. CLEAR will be expanding to JFK Terminal 4 as of tomorrow, Monday, November 19, 2018.

This is such an awesome development. While I’d like to see CLEAR expand to all terminals, Terminal 4 has among the worst security lines, so this will really come in handy.

Terminal 4 is used primarily by Delta, though also by lots of international airlines, including Air India, EL AL, Emirates, Etihad, Kenya Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and many more.

This is a phenomenal development, and if you’re a NYC-based flyer who hasn’t considered CLEAR in the past, you might want to now…

Anyone excited about CLEAR expanding to JFK Terminal 4?

  1. Honestly, no, I’m not excited.

    Clear in its current incarnation just makes the PreCheck lane slower and should frankly not be allowed to offer this service at my expense.

    Clear should either pay for their own security queue, or the TSA should add equivalent kiosks to speed up the PreCheck lane, similar to what CBP has in place for immigration.

  2. Sorry but I can’t see how the math adds up for an average traveller here. I can’t see a world where this is worth half its list price unless you frequently travel through a ‘clear’ airport and it materially reduces your time in the security line.

  3. Why all that fuss? Look at how simple and speedy they handle things in Singapore. Just let TSA copy paste that and you are done with all the long lines in your airports.

  4. @Dylan.
    I have Clear and Precheck.
    I paid for (later reimbursed) TSA TTP. The fee, as I understood it, was to pay for a security check. I did not pay for and extra lines or personnel at the TSA line.
    People, even I, should remember that the lines are there for all people. The airlines manipulated the system to have premium passengers get special treatment although all tickets on a flight pay the same for security checks. The TSA TTP program is designed to make it somewhat quicker to move some passengers through the line.

  5. @Dylan, how is your complaint any different from what someone using T4 without PreCheck goes through? You feel entitled to using PreCheck and using TSA resources for expedited security clearance because you underwent a background check and paid a participation fee. Clear members too paid a participation fee and the step of sharing their biometric information. Do you see any irony in your statement?

  6. @Dylan —> CLEAR saves me a lot of time in airports. When Lucky writes above, “With TSA Pre-Check lines sometimes being longer than the regular lines nowadays, this lets you skip to the front of even that line,” he’s absolutely correct. While *you* may not want to pay for CLEAR, and you may gripe about my arriving at the metal detector before you, you have the option to join if you want…your choice. It’s no different than having TSA take me OUT of the Pre-Check line, and walk me to the head of another security lane where they have a full-body scanner because a) I am pre-check, but b) I had a knee replacement and it will set the metal detector off every time.


    @Anthony —> TTBOMK, the bottom line is “no,” because anyone going through the CLEAR lane has to have their biometrics in the system in order to be id’ed by the CLEAR system.


    @ron —> Really? “Look at how simple and speedy they handle things in Singapore. Just let TSA copy…” Do you *really* think this government will copy ANYTHING that comes from a foreign country? ;^)

  7. @Lucky —> re: JFK…

    1) It’s the proverbial “day late and dollar short” for me. Although I used to fly in and out of T4 several times a year, VX no longer exists, and AS flies out of a different terminal so, for me personally, it’s more of a “who cares?” situation. I imagine it’s going to be a while before I fly VS Upper Class again, due to the exorbitant fees charged on award tickets.

    2) Proof positive JFK continues to suck: CLEAR is only available at T2 and, soon, T4. What about the other active terminals?

    3) You write above that “At some airports they have a great setup. For example, at LAX they have locations at every terminal except Tom Bradley International Terminal.” Why not at TBIT? Granted LAX has many more terminals, but in contrast, SFO has CLEAR available in all terminals *including* the IT.

    CLEAR is also available at all terminals/checkpoints at DCA, at SEA¹, DEN, SJC, etc. I don’t mean to suggest it’s perfect at every location (MIA, for instance), but lots oof airports are better than LAX…and JFK!

    ¹ CLEAR is active at Checkpoints 2, 3, 4, and 5; #1 is only open seasonally, and I’m honestly not sure if they operate there when it’s open or not at all.

  8. I thought I didn’t care about clear… and then I had several trips scheduled to Atlanta which has horrible lines, even in PreCheck. So, I got Clear. No I don’t know how I lived without it in busy airports. My home airports are SFO and SJC (check!) and I fly frequently to DCA, LAX & ATL (check again!). I flew out of ORF this morning. Of course, no clear there, but no line. However, I still missed it. I am addicted to something I didn’t know I needed. Not only do I skip the line but I never have get out my ID!

  9. I don’t even think JFK T2 needed it as that was the smaller Delta ‘satellite’ terminal. I am based in NYC and am a Delta flyer so when I go to JFK, I tend to fly out of T2 or T4. In fact, if I’m flying Delta domestic, I always go through security at T2 as I find it faster going there and then taking the Jitney to T4 to take my Delta flight.
    A while ago, the JFK T4 arrivals area had a security checkpoint (mainly for int’l transit passengers) that was a lot shorter than the T4 departures security area but it’s been closed as of late.
    As for CLEAR, I don’t have it but when I fly out of LGA in the delta terminal, the security line there is notoriously long especially during rush hour. I’ve seen people go to CLEAR and literally sign up on the spot just so they can make their flight at LGA and skip the long line (it’s really long) for ID check.
    I think this is a positive development for JFK T4 since T4 handles a few A380 flights (EK, EY, and SQ). For those who have pre-check or who are flying premium (first/business/skypriority passengers get to skip the line) I don’t think CLEAR is needed even for JFK T4 but for the leisure traveller who tends to run late, I think CLEAR is a great option.

  10. Seems I’m in the minority, but I HATE flying out of T4 just like everyone else, and I typically need to at least once/month. I too have gone through T2 and taken the jitney just to avoid T4 security. Flying with family with young kids out of T4? Miserable…

    I was ecstatic when I got the e-mail that CLEAR has arrived, and simultaneously with the 3 month free trial for me wife which will get use through three family trips this winter before deciding whether or not to renew her.

    For me it’s a savior, and out of LGA Terminal D!? HA! CLEAR can be VIP on steroids if you catch it at the right (or wrong, if you don’t have CLEAR) time. 1 hour security line on a Sunday evening? CLEAR got me through in 3 minutes…Best $79 I’ve spent

    And for those asking about why it isn’t in more terminals? In addition to whatever logistical issues there may be, CLEAR is owned by Delta, and is meant to benefit Delta fliers…so where Delta is, CLEAR will be, which is why T4 JFK was such a gaping hole in the system.

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