What Does A "Clear" Membership Actually Get You At Airport Security?

A PR hack sent us a stupidly long press release a few hours ago about Clear, the company that—for an annual $100 fee—will pre-authorize you with TSA to speed up your passage through security. Clear started operating in select airports over a year ago, and this month will add Reagan National and Dulles International airports to its list. So, is the service worth it? We guess that depends on how much you’re willing to spend to be able to jump ahead of all the poor people waiting in line like the common criminals they surely are. We wanted a slightly more objective way to evaluate it, though, so we started looking around online for first-hand experiences of what exactly happens when you flash your Clear card.

Over on Venture Chronicles, some Clear customers have left feedback, calling it “security theatre” and saying it “can cut 15 minutes out of the process”—which we’re not sure is worth $100 bucks a year. Some were upset by the idea of retinal scanning and fingerprinting—all of Clear’s data is routed through the TSA, so the government gets access to that data, if you worry about that sort of thing. One commenter named Celeste notes that Clear doesn’t let you bypass some of the more onerous security activities:

I signed up as well and realize that, for now, I’ll be at the front of the line. My two questions are, since I still have to go through all the security checks (i.e., shoes, laptops, bag screening, etc., as I understand it), why do they need a retina scan and thumbprint? Basically, I’ve paid $100 to bypass 150 people but I’ve still got to take off my shoes. Also, at $100 a year, won’t the FlyClear line be as long as the regular security line in a year, once more airports become available? They haven’t reduced the actual screening time. In fact, it’s been increased by going through the retina and print scan, haven’t they? We’ll see if it’s a benefit next year before I decide to renew.

Another commenter, Jeff, pointed out just how much you’re putting your personal data in the hands of a third party:

I did find myself thinking “crikey I hope they have some killer data security with everything I am giving them”.

I guess it’s a Faustian bargain at it’s heart, paying $100 because our government can’t figure out how to have effective AND efficient airport security pisses me off, but I won’t be thinking about that as I breeze through the Clear security lane while everyone else is waiting 100 people deep.

I’m less concerned about the prospect that my civil liberties will be infringed because at some point in the future they may share it with some agency, maybe I should be but I just don’t get worked up about it for whatever reason.

At the blog Daggle, Danny compares Clear’s system to IRIS, a similar program in Europe. He says Clear is pretty behind the curve on efficiency and technology.

Leaving San Jose on a flight last week, there was a short line to go through security — but long enough to make trying CLEAR worthwhile. I walked up and handed my card over — strike one, since after scanning my eyes and fingerprints, why do I need a card?

Next, I had to put my right ring finger down. Hard. Like really hard, to the degree it physically hurt, in order to get a good images. Yeah, I’m a big baby. C’mon — it wasn’t comfortable. And then the finger wouldn’t work.

Next to my “backup” finger, my left index. Again, a hard pressing down that hurt, but eventually an image was captured, and I was me.

So why then was I next asked for picture ID? All these biometrics, and they want my driver’s license? Apparently, the CLEAR folks are different from TSA — and TSA wants the picture ID checked.

Danny figures the Clear experience didn’t save him any time at all going through security. In fact, its primary benefit may be that it lets you move to the front of the line, at which point you’ll still be put through the standard gauntlet.

“FlyClear” [Venture Chronicles]
“Using CLEAR To Clear Airport Security — This Is Efficient?” [Daggle]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Of course my question is: if everyone who splurges $100/yr. on this is assumed to be safe and not a threat, why not the rest of us? One more reason that the TSA is a joke.

  2. goodywitch says:

    So, you pay money to jump to the front of the line and to give biometric data to a third party?

  3. DojiStar says:

    SO if everyone get this card, then everyone will get to move to the front of the line??

  4. youbastid says:

    Correction: “I guess it’s a Faustian bargain at it’s heart, paying $100 because our government can’t figure out how to have effective AND efficient airport security pisses me off”

    Should be: “I guess it’s a Faustian bargain at it’s heart, paying $100 because our government can’t figure out how to have effective OR efficient airport security pisses me off”

  5. Alexander says:

    @DojiStar: I think they are counting (and expecting) that only a small percentage of travellers will sign up…

  6. Skeptic says:

    This is just security theater. You still have to go through the same screening. The finger prints and retna scans are just for show.

    The real purpose of the program is “pay $100 and cut in line.”

    Th program is so that well off people and congress critters (who fly regular commercial airlines most of the time) don’t have to wait in line with the rest of us un-washed masses. But, the public might be agast at such unfair treatment, full well knowing that if congress critters and rich people don’t have to suffer in the regular TSA lines that the overall system will never get fixed. And, thus, enter the window dressing: finger prints, retna scans, background checks–to keep out the riff raff, not terrorists.

  7. ghost77 says:

    Great, yet another company with a reason to lobby congress to keep my freedoms opressed.

  8. humphrmi says:

    @Skeptic: Or there’s an even more sinister explanation – Homeland Security would love to have fingerprints and retina scans and do background checks on all of us, but those pesky civil liberties keep thwarting them. By having you ask to sign up, and you even paying $100 to do so, you agree to whatever stomping of civil liberties they want to do.

    Of course, that’s just what the conspiracy theorists would say. Not me, no sir. ;-)

  9. mzito says:

    The only way that Clear makes sense is if it significantly reduces the mechanics of the security process that take time and add inconvenience – i.e., removing shoes, removing belt, laptop out of case, and liquids in the freedom baggie.

    Otherwise, the people this makes the most sense for are those who travel a lot, who are also the most likely to have elite status on one or more airlines that entitles them to take the first class line, which is pretty darn fast (I average about 5 minutes from walking up to the line to being on the other end collecting my things).

    The issue, in this case, is simply that the gubmint has been unable to come to an internal decision about how Clear might be treated differently than the regular security process.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Can’t wait for the first nuclear-bomb carrying terrorist with a clean record that ignites several square miles of airspace over DFW is found having bought one of these farcical cards.

    Will the TSA refund your $100/yr before or after they start shooting on sight Clear cardholders?

  11. humphrmi says:

    @humphrmi: Oh yeah and I fully understand that it’s a non-government corporation that runs all this. Conspiracy theorists would simply reply that the CIA can set up all kinds of shell companies. ;-)

  12. MYarms says:

    I used to be a Clear member when they first started operating in Orlando,FL. I only paid $80 for the year since they were still in their beginnings. All the privacy concerns aside, it was well worth the money since the regular lines at OIA tend to get extremely long. Instead of waiting 2 or more hours in a line that stretches around both terminals I was able to skip ahead of all of those people and go straight to the security screening. Sure a mob of hundreds of people looked like they wanted to tear me limb from limb when I skipped the line but I could care less. It was worth every penny and I haven’t had my ID stolen yet.

  13. rochec says:

    What if you are on the no fly list? Does your $100/year trump that? I would thin yes in today’s America.

  14. rochec says:


    No, no. You couldn’t care less. If you could, you would.

    Your experience is invalidated by your poor english.

  15. spamtasticus says:

    Be very very very weari of biometrics. Data is my life, listen to this advice. There is an brutaly inherent flaw in biometrics. With a credit card, drivers license, even an entire identity is stolen, it can all be cleaned up and new cards issued, new license with new numbers and even new social sec number. But if biometric data becomes as pervasive as drivers licenses, ss numbers and credicards in our day to day lives and someone steals your biometric data you are toast. There is no way to change your retina, your fingerprint, your hands vein patterns etc. And before someone makes stupid jokes about “how will they steal it? cut a hand? steal an eye?…. Ultimately it is a sensor reading your body that then converts that analog information into digital information and compares it to a dataset in a database. If you steal the digital version of the biometric data you can then “inject” it behind the sensor and you are “in”. Sexy technology but (insert Jabu accent from Wild Things movie) “is very very bad”.

  16. spamtasticus says:

    obviously neither spelling nor proofreading are “my life” but bear with it as it’s good info.

  17. rochec says:


    Ya like someone is going to steal my eye and I won’t notice! Why should I be weary of Joe Average having access to everything in my life?

  18. HawkWolf says:

    @rochec: because joe average is the one who’s going to steal your identity to have a little fun?

  19. humphrmi says:

    @rochec: It doesn’t matter if you notice it or not. You could notice it immediately and not be able to do a thing about it. I’m very scared of biometric databases.

  20. kepler11 says:

    it is amazing how people post comments without any knowledge of anything to do with what’s being discussed, or any effort to think before writing.

    The Clear system is designed to allow people who are pre-cleared based on a traveler profile to go to the head of the line for several reasons. First, their identity is verified for sure because of an existing traveler record and the physical person is known to be matched by iris scanning. In fact, iris scanning is several orders of magnitude more accurate (in terms of false hit rate, or missed recognition rate) than fingerprinting, so it is a little bit redundant actually. In the UK (where I have personally given my iris information to go through immigration faster), you simply step up to the eye scanner, and without *any* additional documentation (such as a card to swipe, which I thought would be necessary), you are identified and allowed to pass.

    Secondly, in addition, when you go into the Clear line, you step onto a special foot scanner so that you don’t have to remove your shoes. Then you pretty much are at the head of the security line and are just about a minute away from the other side.

    *That* is what people pay $100 for. I might even do it if only they had more airports where it was working. Considering business travelers who have to do this several times a week, it’s pennies to pay in comparison for the convenience.

  21. Sex Fabregas says:

    In one of my classes we’re doing a project on reduction of airport security times. So we’ve been (covertly) watching security lines, and timing people through the lines, while we have not been monitoring the wait in the line before you show your ID, we have been monitoring the time it takes from then on, and the clear line usually isn’t a factor, and people seem to take longer there.

    Also, maybe its just circumstance, but in the amount of time I’ve been in the airport in the last few weeks, there hasn’t been much of a line a lot of the time.

  22. avsfan123 says:

    You could be really lucky, like myself, and work at an airport, and have this nifty little thing that costs $0 per year. It’s called a SIDA badge, and all it takes is $0, a clean criminal record, and 3-4 weeks for verification of such. Plus in our home airport we don’t have to take our shoes off if they don’t set off the metal detectors. We get to go in the same line that the CLEAR mo-fo’s do, and the only data the government gets is our fingerprints.

  23. Chris Walters says:

    @kepler11: The comments I found online from Clear customers indicate that you have to remove your shoes after all–maybe the foot scanner system hasn’t been approved by TSA?

  24. petrarch1608 says:

    I think this sets a bad precedent. This can easily turn into intimidation by the TSA on those who do not submit to Clearing their name. Shame on our government for making us prove our innocence.

  25. dweebster says:

    @avsfan123: Now THAT’S reassuring.

    @humphrmi: No doubt. It’s a monetary override of democracy as usual.

    If we had a draft and those congresscritters and first class passengers had kids eligible for it then we would have had some legitimate debate before mortgaging this country even further for a three trillion dollar war in Iraq. Cut in line frequent flyers and “first class” passengers, someday we may all be waiting in the same bread (or chow mein) line when the bills come due…

  26. Security theatre. Sure, retinal scans are secure and probably next to impossible to forge…but what about the computer that holds all the data your scans are being compared to?

    Yeah. Didn’t think so. The whole thing is a joke. And you’re paying $100.00 to be laughed at, then resented by your fellow flyers.

    Just get to the airport a few minutes earlier next time, stand in the same line, and enjoy all the benefits of Clear (which has a very creepy name, BTW) without the expense, scanning hassle, or risk of losing your own identity when someone replaces your biometric data with theirs in some database.

  27. Skeptic says:

    by kepler11 at 11:16 PM on 03/19/08 Reply
    it is amazing how people post comments without any knowledge of anything to do with what’s being discussed, or any effort to think before writing.

    The Clear system is designed to allow people who are pre-cleared based on a traveler profile to go to the head of the line for several reasons.

    What you say is completely invalidated by the fact that “Clear” card holders still have to go through the exact same physical security check as the rest of us. There is no reason that a background check should allow you to cut in line, especially since a perp could plant a device on a clear holder and then steal it back from their luggage if Clear holders weren’t checked.

    Clear is security theater and “cut in line for $100.” It is not a legitimate security program.

  28. Kaix says:

    @avsfan123: Does the SIDA badge work at airports other than the one you work at?

  29. Skeptic says:

    by rochec at 11:00 PM on 03/19/08 Reply

    Ya like someone is going to steal my eye and I won’t notice! Why should I be weary of Joe Average having access to everything in my life?

    Nope, they don’t have to steal your eye. The specs about what is supposedly your retina are stored in a database. Databases can and are breached all the time. What someone has to do is take your identity by changing the database.

    The biometric database info can be forged in several ways.

    For locally stored info on chips all they have to do is put their info on a chipped card that is supposed to be yours.

    For realtime networked databases, they can put their own retina scan in it and use your identity. And, they can inject your data into the data history of various systems and frame you for. Likely to happen to you? Not especially. Gonna happen to someone eventually. Guaranteed.

  30. celica7101 says:

    If you’re an elite member on an airline, you can usually skip to the front of the security line, anyway. Only people who don’t fly that much would even want to purchase this. And if you don’t fly that much, why would you be that upset about waiting an extra 15 minutes or so in the security line on a busy day?

  31. nuton2wheels says:

    There’s no need for ultra patriotic patdowns from the TSA. However, if some corporation can circumvent (to an extent) the government’s bureaucratic bullshit to expedite the boarding time of a select group who can afford to pay them $100, what’s the point of security protocols (wandings, dirty looks, racial profiling, and full cavity searches) to begin with? OH wait, terrorism, right. I guess I’m a bad American =)

  32. mcjake says:

    This represents technology’s greatest achievement both over common sense and itself.

  33. aviationwiz says:

    @Kaix: No, the SIDA badge is only valid at the issuing airport, and using your SIDA badge to clear security for personal travel (at least at my airport) is a *BIG* no-no. Penalty can range from a hefty fine to revocation of your badge for 90 days, which, since you can no longer get to work, it also costs you your job. It’s great to be able to skip the security line, but I think I’ll wait in line for 10 minutes rather than risk my job.

  34. jfischer says:

    OK, but what about those of us who check the flight status before leaving for the airport, get a delayed flight, and are taken for a drink or 3 or 12 by our hosts while waiting for the new departure time?

    Now isn’t the darn retinal scan is going to turn into a RECTAL scan, as after even a single beer, the image of your retina is going to have some tiny blood vessels visible that were not visible when you signed up and got your retina scanned “for the record”?

    If anyone wants to test this, I am willing to buy the drinks, but not the Clear subscription.

  35. ngth says:

    I’m gonna say “no thanks” to this. What’s worth more to you? Your right to privacy, or a jump to the front of the line and have your biometrics scanned in?

  36. LUV2CattleCall says:

    [quote]Secondly, in addition, when you go into the Clear line, you step onto a special foot scanner so that you don’t have to remove your shoes. Then you pretty much are at the head of the security line and are just about a minute away from the other side.

    *That* is what people pay $100 for. I might even do it if only they had more airports where it was working. Considering business travelers who have to do this several times a week, it’s pennies to pay in comparison for the convenience. [/quote]

    Oh how I wish! I got it when they let us keep our shoes on but now the machines are gone, so it’s basically a “skip the line at airports that don’t let FF’ers skip lines” deal

  37. Skeptic says:

    Secondly, in addition, when you go into the Clear line, you step onto a special foot scanner so that you don’t have to remove your shoes. Then you pretty much are at the head of the security line and are just about a minute away from the other side

    And the reason “Clear” card holders don’t have to take their shoes off isn’t because they’ve had background checks, its because the airlines won’t pay for the special scanners.

    Security Theater.

  38. jodles says:

    the IRIS program actually works. i was recently at gatwick waiting on line for passport control and some dude just walked through and looked into the retinal scanner and the door opened like he swiped his metrocard. granted that the iris program is for passports and customs and not for security, but it looked like is worked in under 10 seconds.

  39. mike says:

    @alexander: My understanding is that this is for “frequent” travelers. Whatever that means.

  40. aikoto says:

    US companies can’t even keep credit card data confidential. This is a waste of time.

  41. gamin says:

    Ha ha ha that is the american way, you have money you can cut to the beginning of the line, plane and simple

  42. Buzz Lightyear says:

    There’s a similar program called the “Fast Lane Option” ([www.flocard.com]) but as others have said, all this does is get you to security screening and saves the first step of having a drone check your ID and ticket. Most of the delays at airport screening are not at that choke point, but at security. I was a bit interested in TSA’s pilot program of diamond lanes ([www.tsa.gov]) that may help separate individuals based on experience and processing speed.

  43. rochec says:

    I guess I wasn’t sarcastic enough…

  44. hubris says:

    Ah yes, the Bush solution to just about everything: we can’t fix shit, so let’s let a third party company of questionable legitimacy bilk money from people. Yay “free” market!

  45. DeafChick says:

    I read about this in Budget Travel magazine last year and was thinking about getting one. I don’t travel a lot; only three times a year and I read that it just keeps a profile but no mention of retinal scan or biometric.

    I’ll pass.

  46. bgrigson says:

    I think this was a response to the crazy long lines that we used to have to wait in to get through security. I fly out of DFW and even if I had to wait in regular security line it takes less than 15 minutes. Having airline status moves me up pretty quick.

    Like was mentioned earlier. If this program doesn’t allow me to walk straight through then what’s the point. But no matter how squeeky clean someone is during the background check there is always a way to convince that person to do something questionable.

    I’ll pass, there is no need for this unless the TSA resorts to body cavity searches for everyone.(shudder)

  47. JohnMc says:

    What I object to is the idea a Clear customer gets to the head of the line — period. Hell, first class Gold club passengers still have to wait in line like everyone else thru security. So if having the pass still makes them go thru the security checks then they can stand in the same line with the rest of us.

  48. Mr. Cynical says:

    I am a Clear member and my home airport is San Jose, CA. I did not buy Clear because of any added “security benefits” (as there are none), I bought it because I fly damn near every week, so it’s incredibly helpful knowing I can get to SJC just before my flight boards and make it on time.

    It’s all about time, at least for me. It is stupid that I still have to take my shoes and belt off, etc. In fact, TSA had originall agreed Clear members didn’t need to show picture ID anymore (since, obviously, it is scanning our thumb print), but the TSA decided that, no, we still need to show our ID.

    Because you can obviously forge a thumb print but NOT a piece of shit ID.

  49. gamehendge2000 says:

    Back in the day in 2002, I was part of the Homeland Security “Registered Traveler” pilot program. I think it was the predecessor of the current commercialized versions – but basically the sam. I went through the fingerprints/background checks – and then was issued some sort of smart card/ID and would be asked to provide either a thumbprint or iris scan when going through.

    Saved about an hour each time at Logan, and I was taking 3-4 flights per week. Was very sad when they closed it down. But now I am left with a very snazzy lookng DHS ID wich has some other creative uses.

  50. tinyrobot says:

    This is such utter crap. The fact that first class passengers get to skip the rest of us serfs in line at security checkpoints that are staffed and maintained by a federal agency is government-backed classism as it currently stands; adding a pay-to-play skip card only furthers the notion that money can buy you out of security measures that do take their sweet time.

    Here’s the thing: the TSA is wretchedly incompetent, usually very uneven handed in how they handle situations at the checkpoints (the story about the kid’s sterile breathing tube being contaminated was heartbreaking), and overall does seem like much more of a nuisance that a smoothly oiled security machine that would make me/all of us feel safer as we step onto our planes.

    But that said, the need for greater security was and is evident, and when it comes to true aviation security, just because someone has a Rolex and a first class ticket, it does not make them any less of a threat than us struggling middle class folk. First class should get in line with the rest of us citizens, and the TSA should focus on making their OWN methods and equipment more efficient, rather than farming out third party solutions that only make security evasion an even more pay-to-play program than it already is, not to mention introduce additional security risks (you want some startup to have your retina on file?).

  51. Flibbetigibbet says:

    Interesting. As I type this I’m sitting in the atrium of the Orlando airport looking right at the Clear entry area. Nobody is using it (which I suppose means I’d zip right through if I had access). The regular security area is as cluttered as ever.

    I suppose I’d get a Clear card if my company paid for it, but since they won’t, I won’t…

  52. tkozikow says:

    @gamehendge2000: The DHS ID card from the Registered Traveler program is indeed a nice souvenir and it goes with with the FEMA card I have from being a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.

    With regard to Clear, I recently submitted my application and look forward to using it for my weekly trips out of Dulles. While the key advantage now is shorter, more predictable security wait times, the promise is that Clear will be the first to introduce shoe and carry-on bag scanners which will then be deployed more broadly by TSA once they are proven.

  53. jnolan says:

    I am commenter “Jeff” and I wrote the original post. I have several posts about Clear that follow my experiences with the service.

    I think there is a common misconception about Clear being “security lite” when in fact Clear card holders still go through the normal security processes (take shoes off, remove laptop, jacket/coat off).

    Clear is essentially a toll road that gets you through the checkpoint faster than standing in line with everyone else. I was skeptical at first but after having used it for 6 months I am sold on it, not only is my time-in-security quantifiably less, but the stress caused by lines and schedules has been eliminated. In my last flight from Denver (I live in the Bay Area) I literally only made my flight because Clear cut 10 minutes off the security process.

    Lastly, it’s somewhat irrational but a lot of people get pissed off about Clear because it costs $100 a year for preferred access. If you are a frequent flier on any airline in a hub city you usually get through security with priority status anyways so what’s the big deal. I refuse to fly United enough to get Premier Exec or 1k status so I’ll gladly pay $100 a year for this privilege. Also, Clear is paying for the technology and the staffing, so it’s great example of how public/private partnerships can work.

  54. jnolan says:

    @tinyrobot, first class passengers already get priority access at TSA checkpoints, and no one is skipping the TSA checkpoint. You clearly have a preconceived notion of what Clear is without bothering to actually fact check your bias.

  55. gmss0205 says:

    If you fly multiple times per week, it may be worth $100 a year to skip to the front of the line. And if you an expense that back to your company, even better.

  56. freedom_frog says:

    I bet Tom Cruise has one of those bad boys for his trips to Florida to clear his body of those evil thetans. I can see the Co$ greedily clapping their hands together with a collective “excellent” in Mr. Burns style. Anyway you look at it, a hundred dollars to cut in line just doesn’t seem right.

  57. Skeptic says:

    “If you fly multiple times per week, it may be worth $100 a year to skip to the front of the line. And if you an expense that back to your company, even better.”

    Indeed, it may, but the background check, iris scan and fingerprinting are all window dressing for its real purpose, the cut in line $100. They should just admit that and do away with the useless and intrusive checks and biometrics–then they’d have more money for scanners and such. Without all the Orwelian crap, more people would sign up for it.

  58. Javert says:

    @rochec: Hi kettle, this is the pot and you are black.

    Your post is invalidated because of your poor spelling. I don’t know how to ‘thin’ something. I don’t think thin is a verb.

    Hey, I have an idea, before throwing the stones, look at your own house…m’kay?

  59. Javert says:

    I think the only reason this is not more widespread is that it is only at limited airports. If I had to deal with Orlando, I would get it in a heartbeat. Nothing better than sitting in line behind a family of 6 who has never had to fly before and does not understand why their shoes must come off.

    For those of you who see the inequality in this because of the cost, then they should at least have 2 lines at the airport for those of us who know what the heck we are doing and the people who crawled out from under their rock. I wouldn’t care if it is a Subway-type stamp program but those of us who fly and can move through the line quickly should have their own line. There are only about 6 signs pertaining to liquid restricions yet there is always someone complaining that they cannot bring their 16oz shampoo bottle. They need to go in the special line and not delay the rest of us.

  60. MYarms says:

    @rochec: Poor English???? WTF are you talking about?

  61. GothamGal says:

    What is so sad about this is that you are giving away your personal information, paying $100 for 15 minutes of time? Who knew that the loss of civil liberties would be so cheap?

  62. evansolomon says:

    There’s a much funnier account of what Clear actually gets you from Brad Feld (who happens to be another VC blogger): [www.feld.com]

  63. adam33777 says:

    What do 50 lesbians and 50 TSA workers in one room have in common? They both don’t do dick.

    Told to me by a SW Airlines flight attendant.

  64. autoclavicle says:

    @avsfan123: You could be really lucky, like myself, and work at an airport, and have this nifty little thing that costs $0 per year. Unless you lose it or it gets stolen, in which case it costs $100 to replace (or does at the airport I worked at). “Lucky” might also not be the correct word, my airport employment experience left me dreading airports more than malls or hospitals.

    @aviationwiz: They try to discourage you from using your badge for personal travel, (as well as for using it to get 10% off the ridiculously-priced airport food during such personal travel), but in my experience, nobody really cares too much. Just check your baggage and bring in a normal bag (purse/manly messenger bag or whatever) for your carry-on. If you’re paranoid, just go through a different checkpoint.

  65. Umbershoot says:

    @Buzz Lightyear:

    A diamond lane for experienced travelers would be a great idea. A few weeks ago I was held up for an extra 5 minutes or so due to a group of women in front of me who weren’t familiar with the liquids ban/boarding passes check/etc.

    Oddly though, there were not the usual signs up explaining the procedures and it wouldn’t have taken that long if the TSA woman had been more polite instead of spending at least three of those five minutes rolling her eyes at the ladies and telling them that they should know better.