COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Travelers can expect a new, high-tech tool to get through security this holiday season. John Glenn International Airport is debuting CLEAR at its security checkpoints.

“It gives travelers a predictable, a touchless, a faster experience through security,” said Kasra Moshkani, the executive vice president of operations at CLEAR.

The subscription-based service allows customers to verify their identities using fingerprint, face and eye scans. Registered users can take a dedicated security line through the TSA checkpoint, show a boarding pass and scan their eyes, face or fingerprints to get through security.

The company said it already has tens of thousands of users in Central Ohio who have been using the service at one of more than 40 airports nationwide. It expects the holiday travel rush will be a boon for business in Columbus.

“Especially as people are getting back into travel, especially as travel is picking up, especially as we’re around the holidays… that predictability, that ease, is really what’s getting people excited.”

Between Dec. 16 and Jan. 3, CMH expects at least 236,000 passengers through the airport. The number is up 58-percent from 2020 when many travel plans were sidelined by pandemic fears and restrictions. Though up significantly over the past year, travel has not yet rebounded to 2019 levels, when it was 14-percent higher during the same period.

“We’re really just working to make sure it goes smoothly and that people have a happy and healthy travel experience,” said Sarah McQuaide, the director of communications for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

Masks are required in the airport at all times, including on airport shuttles buses. All of the same pre-pandemic rules apply, with an exception to the agency’s 3 ounce liquid policy. Travelers can now bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through security.

“No one wants to wait in line, but the most important thing you can do is to pack smart,” said Jessica Mayle, the communications manager for TSA Great Lakes region.

Mayle encourages holiday travelers to wait to wrap gifts until their destination or use gift bags, rather than paper, to wrap gifts. She said it makes it easier for TSA agents to identify items that may trigger sensors.
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