Clear, a government-approved tech company that uses fingerprint and iris scanners to confirm air travelers' identity, is expanding its kiosk network to a total of 22 airports around the U.S., the company announced Wednesday.
Instead of waiting for a Transportation Security Administration agent to review your ID and boarding pass, Clear members verify their identities with "a tap of a finger or blink of the eye" at the kiosk before proceeding to baggage and physical security screening.
Caryn Seidman-Becker, Clear's CEO, said the company opened new biometric kiosks and lanes at New York's LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday after opening lanes in JFK in December. The company will launch its program at Los Angeles International Airport, Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by February and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by March.
Clear was founded by journalist Steven Brill in 2003. It went bankrupt and was purchased by Seidman-Becker and other investors. It already has kiosks in Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. and other cities in the U.S. The company, in which Delta Airlines also bought a five percent stake, says it currently has 750,000 members and expects to hit 1 million members.
"The vision of the company is to use biometrics to strengthen security and give customers a frictionless experience," says Seidman-Becker. "Our goal is for members to pass from the curb to the cabin without a boarding pass, ID, or wallet."
The biometric-scanning technology takes approximately 1,500 milliseconds to verify identity, Seidman-Becker.
Clear also has kiosks at some baseball stadiums, including the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees and Mets, Colorado Rockies and more.
Clear costs $170 a year, but is free for Delta's most frequent travelers. Comparatively, TSA PreCheck, which costs $85 for five years, lets members go through security without removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets at physical screening. It has 4 million members and is available at over 180 airports and operates with 19 airlines.
Global Entry, which is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, allows members to bypass the U.S. Customs queue upon arrival in the United States. Members scan their passport, face and fingerprints at automatic kiosks at select airports. The program requires an in-person interview and costs $100 to apply.
Clear is focusing on building out the airport network first, but eventually, Seidman-Becker says, she sees Clear's tech powering a future where people never need to carry keys and credit cards, she says.