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The difference between TSA Pre Check and Clear

What is the difference between TSA Pre Check and Clear?

Here’s the short version…

TSA Pre Check

TSA Pre Check is a security clearance that lets you

  • Go to a separate line
  • Avoid taking off your shoes
  • Avoid taking your laptop out of your bag
  • Avoid the backsplatter scanners and go through a simple metal detector instead.
  • Receive a “known traveler number” which is good for 5 years (lets you add to 10 major airlines reservations which gets you in the TSA Pre Check lines.
  • $85


Clear is a separate program that lets you go to the front of the line.

  • Works for TSA Pre Check line
  • Works for the normal security line
  • Available at 11 airports currently
  • $179/year
  • Each additional Family member is $50

If you can afford it, and you want the shortest possible wait time at the airport, you should sign up for both TSA Pre check and Clear.

The difference between them is that TSA Pre check gives you a pre checked security clearance which means you’re more of a trusted traveler (and get your own security line), while Clear lets you cut to the front of the either the TSA Pre check line or the normal security line.


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