If you’ve been following the news lately, it’s plain to see that travel is back in a big way, and with it, long lines and crowds at the airports. Reports of long waits in airport check-in and security lines likely have many travelers looking into trusted traveler programs and security expediting services such as TSA PreCheck (which costs $78 for a five-year membership, and $70 to renew) and Clear (which costs $189 per year).
While we believe wholeheartedly in the investment and value of these services (the time and stress saved alone are priceless), there is another option at some U.S. airports that is absolutely free.
Enter Reserve powered by Clear, which has teamed up with several airports to allow travelers to secure a TSA security line time slot in advance and jump to the front of the line during their designated slot. Despite the fact that Clear charges for its security expediting services, the Reserve powered by Clear fast pass system is free.
Reserve powered by Clear launched in 2021 after Clear acquired virtual queuing company Whyline. Since then, more than 5 million reservations have been made and demand for the service increased by 179 percent in the last six months alone, according to Clear. Users report that the Reserve lanes saves them up to 30 minutes in security line waiting time.
Reserve powered by Clear is currently available at the following U.S. airports:
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
- New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Reserve powered by Clear is also offered at these airports in Canada:
- Calgary International Airport (YYC)
- Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
- Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
- Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ)
- Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
As well as these airports in Europe:
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
- Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
- Hannover Airport (HAJ)
- Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO)
We recently detailed how it works at airports in Europe.
So, how does it work in the United States? Here’s how to skip the TSA line for free at participating U.S. airports.
Denver International Airport
You can sign up for the recently launched DEN Reserve program up to three days prior to your fight or upon arrival at the airport at den.whyline.com. During your appointment window, you should proceed to the airport’s Bridge Security checkpoint (located directly between the main Jeppesen Terminal and the A gates), and look for the DEN Reserve sign. There, you will show airport staff your appointment confirmation and head to security.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
Terminal 4 at New York’s JFK is one of the most recent hubs to adopt a TSA security line advance reservation system. Launched on May 25, the new program, called JFK T4 Reserve powered by Clear, allows travelers to make an online reservation up to 72 hours before their flight between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when the security checkpoint is busiest, according to Clear. Once they arrive at the airport, travelers should look for signs that read “Reserve powered by Clear lane” in the TSA screening area. There, they will scan the QR code they received in the reservation confirmation email and can enter the expedited lane through TSA security.
Los Angeles International Airport
If you’re flying out of Terminal 7 or 8 at LAX, you’re in luck. As of this past fall, these terminals are hosting a free LAX Fast Lane pilot program. Travelers can make advance reservations or walk-in appointments for TSA security screening daily from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (it’s currently not available after 1 p.m.). There are a limited number of appointments, which can be made up to three days in advance at lax.whyline.com.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Now available at Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport, fliers can make online reservations for the TSA security screening line up to 72 hours prior to departure. Reservations and walk-in appointments are available daily from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. and spots are limited so the earlier travelers book, the better. Once at the airport, those with an appointment look for the VirtuaLine queue logo and will be escorted to the front of the line. Reservations can be made at newark.whyline.com.
Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport was one of the first U.S. airports to implement the advance reservation system in 2021. The airport’s Reserve powered by CLEAR program allows travelers to book a TSA security check time slot by visiting mco.whyline.com at no cost to travelers. A limited number of reservation slots are available daily from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Travelers flying out of Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport can reserve a time that they want to head through the TSA screening area through a program called PHX Reserve. Reservations are available in Terminal 3 from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. and in Terminal 4 from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations can be made up to three days prior to travel at phx.whyline.com.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
The recently introduced SEA Spot Saver program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport allows travelers to skip the TSA security line from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Travelers can make a reservation online up to 72 hours before their flight or can try for one at the airport for TSA checkpoints 2, 3, and 5.
And of course, if your regular departure airport doesn’t have a TSA security line reservation program, there is always the option to enroll in TSA PreCheck, Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck), and/or Clear.
This story was originally published in June 2022, and has been updated to include current information.