The debate over which airport security line to choose has passengers weighing the pros and cons of programs like TSA PreCheck and Clear.
As holiday travel surges, the debate over which airport security line to choose has intensified, leaving passengers weighing the pros and cons of programs like TSA PreCheck and Clear. With millions of travelers expected to fly this week, the effectiveness of these programs, promising expedited security clearance, is under scrutiny, according to CNN.
“It’s a judgment call when you get to the screening checkpoint,” said airport management consultant and a professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver Jeffrey Price to CNN. “Which line is longest, and which is going to make me do the least amount?”
The Transportation Security Administration acknowledges a slight increase in wait times for PreCheck passengers, attributing it to the program’s recent surge in enrollment. Despite this, TSA emphasizes that most PreCheck passengers experience minimal wait times.
However, as more people opt for Clear, some travelers find it counterproductive compared to TSA PreCheck, especially at airports like Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare. Security lapses have led TSA to increase ID checks at Clear, contributing to slower processes.
Amid the debate, travelers are advised to consider factors such as airport staffing levels, specific airport conditions, and whether the program justifies its cost. As holiday travel exacerbates these concerns, TSA PreCheck and Clear are implementing measures to address increased demand. Clear, in particular, has expanded staffing during the holiday season and plans to introduce more lanes and technology to minimize wait times.
Gary Leff, an airline industry expert, emphasizes the importance of weighing the efficiency of Clear against the cost and occasionally opting for the less expensive TSA PreCheck, especially when the verification process at Clear takes longer.
As travelers navigate the complexities of airport security lines during the peak holiday season, the TSA PreCheck vs. Clear dilemma underscores the need for a strategic approach to minimize wait times and ensure a smoother travel experience.
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Source: Black Enterprise