Fingerprint checks and iris scans are coming to LAX — but you have to pay for them


A New York-based company that can confirm a person’s identity using fingerprints and iris scans has announced plans for a major expansion, including the installation of its equipment to screen passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.

The biometric screening company, called Clear, has its screening kiosks at 19 airports and sports arenas, including John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York.

The kiosks, which resemble ATMs, will be expanded by the end of March to three more airports: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and LAX.


The devices are designed to confirm a traveler’s identification in seconds, either through a fingerprint check or an iris scan. To use the kiosks, passengers first must enroll in the Clear program, which involves answering background questions, scanning a government-approved ID and paying an annual fee of $179. Special discounts are available for some airline loyalty reward program members.

Designated Clear lanes allow members to more quickly confirm their identification before moving to the Transportation Security Administration’s screening process — the familiar drill involving an X-ray machine and a full-body scanner.

“It can confirm your identity in a nanosecond so you can go straight to the physical screening” said David Cohen, Clear’s chief administrative officer.

The company has dedicated lanes at all five terminals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and at seven terminals at San Francisco International Airport. Clear has yet to announce how many terminals would have new lanes at LAX.

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