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Homeland Security-Approved System Lets You Jump To Front Of Security Line


Travelers departing the San Antonio airport will soon have another way to get through security faster. A private program will allow travelers to be vetted once for all departing flights from participating airports.

It’s  a new program just approved by Homeland Security called CLEAR, which allows those approved to jump to the front of the line at the TSA security check. CLEAR members still have to take off their shoes and go through security.

San Antonio Airport spokesman Rich Johnson said it’s simple to apply:

"It's a private company, but they're going to have their own queuing area into our security checkpoint. So what you'll do is go online and apply and then you'll have a face-to-face meeting where they'll verify your drivers license and passport as well as take your fingerprints and a scan of your iris," Johnson said.

Johnson said CLEAR works for departing passengers, while the previously announced Global Entry program speeds up arriving passengers going through customs.

Under Global Entry, which is $100 for five years, passengers could skip to the front of security with the new TSA pre-check program, which is an expedited security program that is already in cities across the country.

"When the TSA pre-check program comes into effect, then those members of Global Entry will be able to do the same thing," Johnson said.

The TSA pre-check program still has not been authorized for San Antonio and officials with Homeland Security say it won’t be coming online in San Antonio for at least another year.

CLEAR will begin this summer, and travelers get unlimited trips for $179 dollars per year, $50 for the spouse or partner, and kids are free.

CLEAR members can use the card at any participating airport, which right now include airports in Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Westchester and San Francisco.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.