Delta partnering with Clear for faster security screening for frequent fliers

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Delta Air Lines is partnering with biometric identification technology firm Clear to offer discounts on faster screening to its frequent fliers.

Atlanta-based Delta plans to give discounts for Clear membership to its SkyMiles frequent fliers and complimentary Clear membership for Diamond-level elite frequent fliers, with access at Delta's hubs this summer.

The regular price for a Clear membership is $179 annually. Applying for TSA PreCheck costs $85, valid for five years.

"With Clear, customers can go directly to the front of the TSA PreCheck queue," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. Delta is also buying a 5 percent stake in Clear, Bastian said.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

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Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been working to address the problem of long wait times at TSA checkpoints. During busy periods of the day, the wait times can be close to an hour long, with lines at the main checkpoint in the domestic terminal stretching through the atrium and sometimes into baggage claim.

Bastian said the Transportation Security Administration is also working with Hartsfield-Jackson on a pilot project with a new security lane system to ease the traffic flow, which is expected to be constructed in the next 30 to 60 days.

He said Delta has also offered staffing to help supplement the TSA for clearing queues.

"We're all familiar with the staffing issues," Bastian said. "We're helping them speed the screening checkpoints."