Clear Is Worth It For Me

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If you are a frequent traveler, you have probably noticed that TSA Precheck line is not as fast as it used to be. Now, every Tom, Dick and Harry is using Precheck which is clogging the lines with more people (and with people that don't travel frequently so they slow the lines down). 

So I started using a new strategy:  Clear.  With my Tripit Pro annual subscription (for $49), I had a 4 month free trial to use Clear.  Rack rate is $179 but Delta Sky Miles has a deal with them.  Depending on your status, you can get it for significantly less than full cost. 

Sign up was easy.  Fill out a few questions online and then the next time I was at the airport, I arrived a few minutes earlier so I could finish the sign up process.  After getting some biometrics (a retina scan and fingerprints), I was moved to the front of the Precheck line. 

This morning (Saturday) in Detroit (DTW), I was shocked at not only how long the regular TSA line was but was frustrated that the Precheck line was long and slow.  I spotted my new friends at Clear and 45 seconds later, I was at the front of the Precheck line.  Loved that!

While Clear is not inexpensive, I can say if you travel enough, it will be worth it from the time you can save since it works to get you to the front of the Precheck line. 

TSA Officer at SEA Claims That TSA Laptop Friendly Bags Are NOT ALLOWED

I had a very interesting interaction with a TSA Officer at SEA last week.  Used Elite Line since faster that day and used my TSA Laptop Friendly Bag and kept my computer in the pouch.  As usual, nothing was on the top or bottom of the laptop in the bag.  A youngish officer pulled my bag and asked me if I knew why I was having my luggage examined more closely.  I said it is probably because of my Pocket Monkey (a TSA allowed multi-tool that sometimes gets flagged for a closer look.  He said "no, it is because you violated a TSA rule by not pulling your laptop out of your bag."  I asked him if that was a new rule and he actually said the rule is MANDATORY and ALL laptops have to be pulled from bag.  I challenged this and clarified with him that I understand that a laptop MAY be removed from the bag for further inspection but asked if I understood him correctly that ALL laptops must be pulled from ALL bags (as in mandatory).  He got miffed and said yes and that I could speak to his supervisor about it.  I told him I didn't have time but he was wrong.

I then while at my gate contacted @AskTSA via twitter if he was correct.  They sent a link showing that there are TSA Laptop Friendly bags allowed but the Officers MAY pull for further inspection.  I told them I knew that already but their SEA Officer said it is MANDATORY that all bags get pulled from bag.  Despite several attempts to have @AskTSA acknowledge their Officer is wrong, they refuse to indicate an answer to the clear and concise question if he is right or wrong.  Frustrating.

I am going through the same line at SEA in about 45 minutes so will see what happens!