TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR are three separate programs designed to expedite the security and customs processes for travelers, but they serve different purposes and have distinct features. Here’s an overview of each program:
- TSA PreCheck:
- Purpose: TSA PreCheck is primarily focused on expediting the security screening process at U.S. airports.
- Eligible passengers enjoy expedited security screening, which typically includes shorter lines and the ability to keep shoes, belts, and light jackets on, as well as leave laptops and compliant liquids in carry-on bags.
- It is beneficial for domestic travel within the United States.
2. Global Entry:
- Purpose: Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program designed to expedite the customs and immigration process for international travelers arriving in the United States.
- Global Entry members can use automated kiosks at participating airports for a faster entry process.
- Includes TSA PreCheck benefits, making it a good option for those who frequently travel both domestically and internationally.
- Expedited entry into the United States for approved travelers.
- Purpose: CLEAR is a private, subscription-based service that focuses on expediting the identity verification process at airport security checkpoints.
- Allows members to bypass the regular ID check lines at security checkpoints by using biometric verification (fingerprint or eye scan).
- Does not include expedited screening for items like shoes and laptops; it’s focused on the ID verification process.
- Available at certain airports, sports stadiums, and other venues.
- TSA PreCheck is focused on domestic security screening within the United States.
- Global Entry is geared towards international travelers entering the United States.
- CLEAR is a private service that focuses on expediting the ID verification process at security checkpoints.
- TSA PreCheck is operated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
- Global Entry is operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
- CLEAR is a private company.
- Application Process:
- TSA PreCheck and Global Entry require a formal application process, including background checks and an in-person interview.
- CLEAR has a simpler application process and involves biometric enrollment at a CLEAR kiosk.
- TSA PreCheck and Global Entry have application fees, typically valid for several years.
- CLEAR is a subscription-based service with a monthly or yearly fee.
Many frequent travelers find value in combining programs, such as having both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for comprehensive benefits. Additionally, CLEAR can be used in conjunction with either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to further expedite the security process.
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