Skift Take

Rental car checkout is a nightmare if you don't have any loyalty status with the company. Maybe this new perk will make Clear's annual fee worthwhile for more frequent travelers.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and New York-based Clear announced on Tuesday the debut of Hertz Fast Lane Powered by Clear, a service that uses biometrics to speed members through the rental car process. The service is so fast, says the company, clients can get through the rental car exit gate and be on the road in 30 seconds or less.

Currently in operation only at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), a rollout to a further 40-plus Hertz locations, including John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), is scheduled for 2019.

“By teaming with Clear, Hertz gets a partner with an expanding footprint and proven track record to help us innovate the car rental process, improve the customer experience and bring meaningful benefits to busy travelers,” said Hertz Chief Executive Officer Kathryn V. Marinello in a news release.

The checkout system marks the first use of biometrics by a major rental car company, according to the release. Use of Hertz Fast Lane requires an active Clear account linked to a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account. Participating members may choose a car at a Hertz location, then proceed directly to any exit gate. After the driver follows prompts at an automated kiosk, Clear confirms the driver’s face to their license and reservation before the gate lifts to allow exit.

Instead of using traditional ID documents, Clear cloud-based technology uses biometrics—your eyes and fingertips— to speed the security process at 40 U.S. airports and sporting venues. At airports, Clear allows members to head straight to a designated kiosk where their boarding pass and iris are scanned instead of waiting in the queue for physical verification. Clear membership costs $179 per year with $50 per each additional family member (children under age 18 receive free access with members).

In the release, Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of Clear, said the company is “creating a future in which your fingerprints, eyes and face are your best and most secure ID.”

Hertz Corp. operates the Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly vehicle rental brands at more than 10,000 global corporate and franchisee locations. Recently, German car rental company Sixt SE denied speculation it was in advanced talks to buy smaller rival Hertz Global Holdings. Hertz shares had gained following circulation of the rumored approach. In November, Hertz reported its biggest quarterly profit in three years.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Colin Bertram from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

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Tags: biometrics, clear, hertz

Photo credit: Hertz Fast Lane Powered by Clear uses biometrics to speed members through the rental car process. Hertz