Whether or not CLEAR is a game changer depends on the passenger/customer. If you have TSA PreCheck, CLEAR membership generally only saves you a minute or two. But if you don’t have PreCheck, it can potentially chop off all the time off the TSA queues before the officer who checks your ID/boarding pass. That can be quite a bit of time, depending on the length of the queue.
In recent months, CLEAR has also been slowly introducing reservation systems at select airports. It’s called CLEAR Reserve. You make an appointment X number of hours or days ahead of time, and when it’s “your time,” you can bypass the pre-security queue.
CLEAR membership is only open to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents 18 and older with a valid government-issued photo ID. CLEAR is also only available at select (45 of ’em!) airports in the United States. However in March, 2022, CLEAR introduced its first reservation system outside the U.S. – Calgary Int’l Airport (YYC) is the first airport in Canada to use CLEAR Reserve (although CLEAR itself is not in use at YYC yet – only CLEAR Reserve is). It’s called YYC Express and includes FREE advanced reservations and onsite appointments at Security D for all departing passengers within D’s checkpoint hours on any airline.
YYC Express must be working pretty well because CLEAR has just announced the first European airport to introduce virtual queuing, located at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). It’s called BER Runway and it’s been developed by Copenhagen Optimization and CLEAR. Best of all, just like the other 7 reservation systems from CLEAR, it’s free.
Here’s how it works:
- Reserve: To use the free BER Runway lane, just visit the dedicated website where you can enter your flight details, the size of your party, and find a reservation time that works for you.
- Confirm: Once you select your reservation time, finish booking by entering your email, and confirming your details. You’ll receive a confirmation email and QR code.
- Go: When you arrive at Terminal 1, look for signs pointing to the BER Runway lane. Scan your QR code and enjoy the fast lane right to security.
You can make online reservations for you and your party up to 72 hours in advance of a flight’s scheduled departure. Reservation times are available based on the passenger’s selected flight; slots are available starting at least 60 minutes before Schengen flights and at least 90 minutes before non-Schengen flights. The dedicated BER Runway security lane is open between 4:30am and 8:30pm.
Just like the other CLEAR Reserve opportunities, you don’t need to be a member of CLEAR to use this reservation.
Oh, and the cool thing about CLEAR Reserve being in Germany? Welp, if you have TSA PreCheck, CLEAR’s various reservation systems around the U.S. doesn’t really do much for you, because they don’t have dedicated lines that go to the PreCheck queues. But in Germany? Not an issue. 😉
CLEAR Reserve can help you plan your time, which is important when going to an airport. Again, the reservation system remains free at this time – I hope it stays that way.
Feature Photo (cropped): Berlin Brandenburg Airport
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