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Difference Between Fast Track, Clear Airport Security, and TSA Pre Check

airport security


Finding any kind of shortcut is usually well worth the time investment because flying can be such a time-consuming activity. TSA PreCheck®, Clear, & Fast Track are programs that may enable you to pass airport security quickly before boarding a plane. Find out more about Airport security, Expedited screening, Travel time savings, and determine if any or both might be right for you by continuing to read.


Demystifying Airport security & Expedited Security Options

Expedited Airport security options aim to streamline the screening process, allowing passengers to skip the long queues and get to their gates faster. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options:


TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck® is one of the Trusted Travel programs authorized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to offer accelerated security screening for travelers within or departing the United States. Backed by the TSA, this program is accessible at over 200 American airports.



Clear is a private company that provides expedited security screening through biometric identification. By enrolling in Clear, you’ll have your fingerprints or iris scans on file, allowing you to verify your identity quickly at designated Clear lanes. Clear is currently available at select airports and stadiums, and it aims to expand its network further. With Clear, you can skip the regular security lines and move to the front, saving valuable time.


Fast Track

Worldwide availability of Fast Track services includes Nexus, Global Entry, and Priority Pass. They are services known as Fast Track available at specific immigration and airport security lines. These services, from check-in to boarding, are all geared at the convenience of the visitors.



Unveiling the Benefits

All three options TSA PreCheck, Clear, and Fast Track come with their own set of Airport security benefits. Let’s explore them further:


TSA PreCheck

  • Expedited screening process with dedicated PreCheck lanes
  • No need to remove shoes, belts, or light jackets
  • Keep laptops and liquids in your bag
  • Available at over 200 airports nationwide



  • Biometric identification for swift verification
  • Skip regular security lines and move to the front
  • Available at select airports and stadiums
  • Plans to expand its network


Fast Track

  • Priority access to dedicated security lanes
  • Convenient option for specific airports
  • Offers a faster route through security


Deep Dive into Each Option

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these options individually:


TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is ideal for frequent travelers who want a seamless and hassle-free security screening experience. By undergoing a background check and becoming a trusted traveler, you can enjoy the benefits of TSA PreCheck at over 200 airports nationwide. This Airport security program allows you to keep your shoes, belts, and light jackets on, and you won’t have to remove laptops or liquids from your bag. It’s a great option for those who value convenience and efficiency.



Clear is perfect for individuals who want to save time and avoid long Airport security lines. By enrolling in Clear and providing your biometric information, you can swiftly verify your identity at designated Clear lanes. This allows you to skip the regular security lines and move to the front, getting you through the airport faster. While Clear is currently available at select airports and stadiums, the company has plans to expand its network, making it an attractive option for frequent travelers.


Fast Track

Fast Track is a flexible option for spontaneous travelers who want to expedite their security screening process. While it may not have the widespread availability of TSA PreCheck or Clear, Fast Track offers priority access to dedicated security lanes at specific airports. It provides a faster route through security, allowing you to save time and alleviate stress. If you frequently travel through airports that offer Fast Track, it’s worth considering as an alternative.


List of Fast Track Service Types:


1. Global Entry:


One program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Global Entry enables a chosen set of low-risk visitors to expedite the immigration and customs procedures when they arrive in the country.


2. Nexus:


For pre-approved travellers, Nexus is a means of expediting travel between the US and Canada. It is run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in association with the Canada Border Services Agency.


3. Priority Pass:


At some locations, this all-inclusive program offers Fast Track choices in addition to access to airport lounges. Priority Pass holders get expedited customs and immigration procedures, speedier entry into the airport lounge, and quicker security screening.


4. Fast Track Programs by Airlines:


Several airlines provide their own Fast Track services, which let travellers pass security inspections fast. Most of the time, they are included in exclusive programs intended for loyalty and premium members.



Choosing the Right Option for You

Now that we’ve explored the benefits and features of each option, let’s discuss how to choose the right expedited security program for your travel needs:


Frequent travelers: Consider TSA PreCheck or Clear for broader network access.

If you’re a frequent traveler who flies through various airports, TSA PreCheck or Clear are excellent choices. TSA PreCheck is available at over 200 airports nationwide, providing a consistent experience wherever you go. Clear, although currently available at select locations, aims to expand its network, making it a promising option for those who value convenience and time savings.


Budget-conscious travelers: TSA PreCheck might be a better long-term value.

If you’re know about conscious traveling of your budget, TSA PreCheck is a cost-effective option. While there is an application fee, it grants you five years of expedited screening at over 200 airports. This means you’ll enjoy time savings and convenience without having to pay additional fees on a yearly basis.


Spontaneous travelers: Explore Fast Track availability at specific airports.

For those who travel spontaneously and frequently visit airports that offer Fast Track, it’s worth considering this option. Fast Track provides a faster route through security and can be a convenient choice if you find yourself needing to expedite your screening process on the go.


A Cost Comparison

Before making a decision, it’s essential to consider the cost of each option:


TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck requires an application fee, which covers a five-year membership. The fee is reasonable considering the time savings and convenience it offers.



Clear operates on an annual membership fee basis. While it does involve recurring costs, the convenience and time savings it provides can outweigh the expense for frequent travelers.


Fast Track

Fast Track typically involves a one-time fee per use, which may vary depending on the airport. It’s important to check the specific costs at the airports you frequent to determine if it aligns with your budget and travel patterns.




In conclusion, TSA PreCheck, Clear, and Fast Track are expedited security options that aim to save you time and streamline your airport experience. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and considerations. By understanding your travel needs and preferences, you can choose the right program that aligns with your requirements.




Q1: Can I use TSA PreCheck and Clear at the same time?

A1: Yes, TSA PreCheck and Clear are separate programs that can be used together. Clear allows you to skip the regular security lines, and TSA PreCheck provides expedited screening at designated PreCheck lanes.


Q2: Are these expedited security options available for international travel?

A2: While TSA PreCheck is available for select international flights, Clear and Fast Track are primarily focused on domestic travel within the United States.


Q3: How long does it take to get approved for TSA PreCheck?

A3: The approval process for TSA PreCheck can take a few weeks. After applying, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for a background check and fingerprinting.

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