Whether you’re a frequent flyer or not, the chances of flight cancellations and delays are soaring as the busy summer travel season creates long waits and crowds.
But as U.S. airports work to combat the chaos, some are offering an option to allow passengers to bypass long TSA lines with an advance “fast pass” reservation free of charge.
“There are some new services like CLEAR Reserve lanes where you don’t even have to be a member,” said Clint Henderson, managing editor of news at The Points Guy.” You can get an assigned time to go through security.”
You won’t be able to completely skip the line — Henderson says you will still need to be screened — but the process will likely be much faster.
The service is currently being offered at:
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport
- Calgary International Airport in Canada
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
While that service is free, Henderson says CLEAR does have a yearly membership fee. Henderson also recommends travelers sign up for services like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry service to help them get through airport security faster.
An estimated 3.5 million people are expected to travel by plane over the Fourth of July weekend, likely making it one of the busiest we’ve ever seen. The anticipated surge is prompting some airlines to incentivize travelers to actually change their plans.
Delta is offering a systemwide fare difference travel waiver for July 1-4, which “allows customers to rebook their trip to before or after potentially challenging weekend travel days — with no fare difference or change fees, as long as customers travel between the same origin and destination.”
At the same time, United Airlines is cutting 50 domestic flights from Newark starting July 1 — a cut of about 12% of its schedule — joining Delta, JetBlue and Spirit, which have also nixed flights to allow for breathing room in their schedules.