We finally found a way to give Clear security a trial run without having to pay any of their fees. Previously, we uncovered a deal to get access to the fast-track airport screening service, but it only worked if you were in an elite tier of a hotel rewards program. Now, it’s available for everyone.
The key is that you have to be a member of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the rewards program run by Starwood, the mother chain of The Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels and the like. But enrollment is free and no credit card is involved, so you only need to quickly sign up. You can do that here.
After you get your membership number, just go to the SPG promo page, drop in your ID and bounce over to Clear for the balance of your application.
The crux of the application process is in giving up your personal information to Clear. While they swear that their system is secure (with, only a hiccup or two,) some people aren’t really comfortable with giving up more personal information to another third party. They’re not taking just your home address either – you’ll need to give them fingerprints and a retina scan once you get to the airport.
Your trial membership courtesy of SPG lasts for three months and you can sign up until the end of February.
Only after your application is complete will you be able to show up to the airport with your Clear card, scan your retina and zip through the ID check line – only to get into the x-ray line with everyone else.
Fine. But will it save you time? Often times when I’m in the airport the first class & elite line is just as short as the clear line, so in many cases it may not shave off minutes. But if things are backed up and the clear lane is open, it could save your trip. I’ll let you know how it goes when I give Clear a test run next week.