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CLEAR Expedited Security Program Expanding to St. Louis-Lambert Airport

CLEAR, a privately held company that provides expedited security screening at airports and event venues, is expanding to yet another airport in the U.S. According to STL Aviation News, St. Louis-Lambert International Airport officials confirmed that CLEAR would be installing kiosks in both of the airport’s terminals.

CLEAR began operations in 2010 serving a few larger international airports in the United States. Today, the program has expanded to 30 airports throughout the U.S. In addition to providing expedited airport security screening, CLEAR also provides expedited screening at select sports and event venues.

In 2019, CLEAR expanded to a number of airports across the U.S. including Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Newark International Airport (EWR). Now, the company has its sights set on St. Louis-Lambert International Airport (STL). At a recent airport commission meeting, the Twitter account STL Aviation News confirmed that the expedited security screening service is expanding to St. Louis-Lambert Airport in early 2020. According to a Tweet sent by STL Aviation News, CLEAR will begin operations at St. Louis-Lambert Airport following a “1 month build out.” CLEAR will operate at the airport for at least 35 months per a contract with the airport.


St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, the largest airport in Missouri serving nearly 16 million passengers each year, features two passenger terminals. Terminal 2, which houses Southwest Airlines, consists of a single concourse with up to two screening checkpoints. Terminal 1 houses the airport’s other tenants with two concourses, Concourse A and C, serving the terminal’s passengers. STL Aviation News reports that the airport commission stated that each concourse would feature CLEAR kiosks.


How Does CLEAR Work

CLEAR is one of a few trusted traveler programs available to passengers. Unlike TSAPreCheck, CLEAR is privately owned and operated, acting as a third-party identity verification company. Typically, passengers would wait in line before reaching a podium at which a TSA officer verifies each passenger’s identity. Much of a passenger’s time spent waiting in line at TSA checkpoints is prior to reaching the podium for identity verification. CLEAR allows its members to bypass the initial line at TSA checkpoints by verifying the member’s identity and the validity of their boarding pass.

Using biometric data including fingerprints and retinal scans, passengers that pay for the CLEAR service have their identity verified at CLEAR kiosks near existing TSA checkpoint queues. Once a passenger is cleared, they are direct to either the general screening lane or the TSAPreCheck lane should that passenger also be a member of the PreCheck program. By allowing passengers to simply present their fingerprints or their eyes, the verification process is sped up and allows CLEAR members to bypass lines at TSA screening checkpoints.

Clear Security St. Louis
A CLEAR kiosk at Washington-Reagan/National Airport (DCA). (Image by Max Prosperi for The College Points)


The CLEAR security screening program costs $15 a month though, is billed annually at $179. Applicants are required to provide biometric data and undergo a background check. Once a member is approved, they can then use CLEAR security screening lanes at participating airports and venues. Additionally, in recent years, CLEAR has partnered with a variety of companies like Delta and Hertz. These partnerships allow select travelers that hold elite status to receive a CLEAR membership at a discounted rate. CLEAR also offers a student discount which allows eligible college students to join the program for $50 a year for a maximum of 4 years.

CLEAR Expanding to St. Louis – The Bottom Line

Though Terminal 1 at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport is usually free from long lines at TSA checkpoints, the same cannot be said for Terminal 2. Terminal 2, the terminal from which Southwest Airlines, the airport’s largest air carrier, operates, occasionally experiences long wait times at its security checkpoints. CLEAR will allow passengers traveling through St. Louis-Lambert International Airport to bypass those lines and head straight to the front of the line. St. Louis-Lambert Airport will be CLEAR’s 31st airport when it commences operations at the airport later this year.

Readers interested in CLEAR can received a free 2-month trial by clicking this link and signing up for the program on CLEAR’s website. As previously mentioned, the annual fee for the program is $179 or $50 for eligible students. Learn more and receive a free trial.


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