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United Airlines Teams With CLEAR to Offer Discounts to Loyal Customers



United Airlines announced Monday it has expanded its partnership with secure identity company CLEAR to deliver innovative experiences for customers from curb-to-gate and beyond.

For United MileagePlus members based in the United States, the partnership includes free or discounted CLEAR membership pricing. In addition, the airline is making an investment in CLEAR that would include bringing the service to Newark Liberty International Airport and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport starting later this summer.

United is also supporting CLEAR’s efforts in Chicago to open CLEAR lanes at O’Hare International Airport in the coming months. CLEAR already operates at the airline’s hubs in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington Dulles.

“Our new partnership with CLEAR is another proof point of how we are always looking to improve traveling with United, in this case by making the airport experience more convenient for customers,” United vice president Luc Bondar said in a statement.

“CLEAR’s secure and seamless biometric security option creates an expedited travel experience that many of our frequent flyers already use and love,” Bondar continued. “We’re excited to partner with CLEAR to expand their presence at our hub airports and to provide all MileagePlus members with either free or deeply discounted memberships.”

Starting Monday, CLEAR and United are offering free membership for Global Services and Premier 1K members, while Premier Platinum, Gold and Silver members and United credit card members receive a discounted membership rate of $109.

All other MileagePlus members are eligible for a discounted offer of $119 per year, with an annual CLEAR membership typically priced at $179.

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TSA Confirms First Employee Death Related to Coronavirus



The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that a federal employee working at a New Jersey airport died from complications associated with coronavirus, marking the agency’s first COVID-19-related death.

According to the official TSA website, 39-year-old Francis “Frank” Boccabella III died on April 2 after 16 years with the organization. He was an Explosive Detection Canine Handler at Newark Liberty International Airport.

A TSA spokesperson sent heartfelt condolences to Boccabella’s wife, extended family, colleagues and friends. “His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him and cherished both his friendship and professionalism,” the statement read.

Boccabella joined the TSA in 2004 at John F. Kennedy International Airport before becoming a Compliance Inspector at the Newark airport and finally settling into his role as an Explosive Detection Canine Handler.

Boccabella worked with a six-year-old German Short-haired Pointer named Bullet to screen hundreds of thousands of passengers, keeping them and the transportation network safe.

In recent weeks, the TSA received updated protocols regarding the spread of coronavirus, including the decision to allow employees to wear N95 masks and eye protection, as well as mandatory nitrile gloves.

The TSA also recently announced a new website to provide travelers with updated airport regulations and keep track of confirmed cases of coronavirus among employees.

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