Westchester County Airport’s CLEAR Program Verifies Identity with Biometrics

Flying out of Westchester County Airport just got a whole lot easier. By registering with a program called CLEAR, you can jump to the front of the security line after verifying your identity via a fingerprint or retina scan. Here’s how it works: Bring your passport and driver’s license to the CLEAR kiosk, located at the entrance to the airport terminal. An attendant will scan them into a computer, along with digital images of your fingerprints and eyes—very James Bond. Your documents will then generate a series of questions to verify that you’re really, really who you say you are. Whoa! How did they know my address from 25 years ago? “All the information that came up on your quiz is pulled from public, commercially available data compiled by LexisNexis,” says Nora O’Malley, CLEAR’s director of public relations. “It’s the best way for us to authenticate your identity.”

You still have to go through the physical screening, but, hey, when your flight is being called and the security line has snaked all the way back to JetBlue check-in, who’s complaining? The cost is $179 per year; you can add a spouse or partner for $50, while kids under 18 are always free when accompanied by a CLEAR member. The company also has deals with other travel organizations offering discounts, such as 20 percent off Hertz car rentals. For more info, visit clearme.com.

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