United Airlines expands 'Clear' biometric screening to more airports

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,730   +663
Staff member

United Airlines has just announced that it will be expanding its biometric screening. The program is intended to make boarding more streamlined and efficient for the airport and quicker for the passenger. To facilitate the expansion, United has invested an unspecified amount in biometric identification company Clear. Clear uses fingerprints and iris scans instead of traditional ID checks.

As part of the program, United will be bringing Clear lanes to Newark Liberty International and Houston George Bush International Airports. Chicago’s O’Hare will also be added in the coming months.

The airline will also be offering some discounts on the Clear boarding program. Membership usually costs $179 per year. Global Services and Premier 1K members can now get the service for free. Those with a United Platinum, Gold, or Silver card can get it for $109 per year. MileagePlus can get the service for $119 annually.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Clear currently operates in over 30 airports, including Denver, Los Angles, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles. Other venues like stadiums, arenas, and some Hertz car rental offices also use Clear’s technology.

The chief benefit is shorter wait times for passengers. If you have ever had to stand a TSA line at some of the larger airports, you know how long that can take. However, some are concerned over the privacy issues tech like this raises.

As we have seen in the past, airlines are not immune to data breaches. There are also fears that the TSA or other law enforcement could use the data unconstitutionally. United assures passengers that the system is safe and secure.

Image credit: Arina P Habich via Shutterstock

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Posts: 517   +477
This is so reassuring, because we all know that big corporations will not sell our data to make extra money. And we all know how hack-proof their systems are.....

No, thanks, I will spend the extra 3 minutes in line.
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Posts: 3,275   +3,606
LOL, paying to GIVE someone your biometric data which could be used for endless nefarious purposes. The hubris and sheer evil of corporations continues to fascinate and repulse.
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Posts: 1,727   +979
Given that this is meant to speed up boarding, and Airlines get charged for time at the gate, the service should be free since its going to save the company money the more people who are using it.


Posts: 37   +10
Just give your encrypted password file and be done with it! Who are these guys kidding? Safe, secure are words major corps never give a rats about. Maybe they need your iris so they can identify you when their Boeing you just boarded drops out of the sky.