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Las Vegas Airport – also known as McCarran International Airport – offers a first glimpse into the timeless glamour of Las Vegas, complete with slot machines, glass palm trees and neon lights. The passenger facility is set just three miles from the south end of the Strip and around 13 miles from downtown Las Vegas and the classic Freemont Street Experience. Car rental is a great choice for ground transportation, especially if you’ve got plans to head away from the Strip for golf or to outdoor wonders like Charleston Peak and Lake Mead. Taxis are available as well but long queues are common and fares can quickly add up. Alternatively, public buses and shuttles are available to a number of destinations in town.
Who to Book With
There are numerous car hire firms with branches at Las Vegas Airport, including Thrifty, Dollar, Avis, Hertz, Payless, Alamo, National, Budget, Enterprise and Advantage. Car rental patrons must transfer to the Rent-a-Car Center at 7135 Gillespie Street via the free shuttle bus service. The shuttle leaves from outside doors 10 and 11 at Terminal 1, as well as from West doors 1 to 4 and East doors 5 to 8 at Terminal 3.
Need to Know Essentials
Documentation you must bring to the rental counter at Las Vegas Airport:
- Your passport
- Your rental confirmation
- A valid driver’s licence
- The credit card used for reserving your hire car (in the primary driver’s name)
Motoring on American roadways is similar to motoring in Western Europe; driving takes place on the right side of the road. Roads are generally well kept. Speed limits on highways in the state of Nevada are 75mph in rural areas and 55mph to 65mph in urban areas. Seatbelts are compulsory for those seated in the front of the vehicle. The use of mobile phones is prohibited while driving. Be aware that traffic congestion is common in Las Vegas, particularly on and around the Strip.
There is no rail service directly to the airport and there are no Amtrak trains running through the city of Las Vegas. However, the Las Vegas Monorail has a station only three miles away at the MGM Grand which offers quick connections to the Flamingo, Caesar’s Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center and The Sahara, among other locations. Fares are just over £3 one way.
There are designated taxi stands outside of both terminals; however, be aware that queues can be long during peak travel periods. Ranks are available outside doors 1-4 at Terminal 1 or outside the main doors on Level 0 of Terminal 3. Be aware that some taxis do not accept credit cards and all trips to and from the airport entail a supplementary charge of about £1.
Sample taxi fares:
Las Vegas Airport to Freemont Street/Downtown is around £20
Las Vegas Airport to MGM Grand/Monorail is about £12
Las Vegas Airport to Henderson is about £30
Las Vegas Airport to the Stratosphere is about £15
Las Vegas Airport to the Venetian is about £15
Bus service to Las Vegas Airport is provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). Connections are available to numerous locations around the city. The bus stop is located on Level 0 (one floor below Baggage Re-claim) at Terminal 1. Passengers arriving at Terminal 3 will need to use the terminal transfer bus to reach the RTC bus stop. The trip to the city costs around £1.50 and lasts about 30 minutes in good traffic conditions.
There are more than 100 departure gates at Las Vegas Airport across two terminal buildings and three concourses. Terminal 1 is the old terminal and is connected to concourses A, B and C. Terminal 3 hosts all foreign carriers and a handful of US airlines; most international flights operate from here. A free terminal shuttle operates at regular intervals and both terminals are connected to Concourse D via train. Be sure to check which terminal your airline uses prior to departure and be aware that Terminal 2 closed permanently in June 2012.
There are numerous parking options available at both terminals: short-term, long-term, economy, valet and oversized vehicle parking. All spaces are covered with the exception of those at the economy/surface car park at Terminal 3, as well as those at the oversized vehicle lots. The first 15 minutes is free in all car parks except valet. Daily rates are around £12 for valet service, £10 in long-term lots and £5 in economy lots. Short-term rates are about £1.25 per hour for the first three hours and £2 for each hour thereafter.
Free Wi-Fi is available via the McCarran Wi-Fi network.
Passengers can find three information desks in Las Vegas Airport. One is situated near the E gates in Terminal 3, while the Terminal 1 desks are situated in the Baggage Claim area and in the Esplanade shopping zone. Alternatively, look for the white courtesy telephones throughout the airport.
Airport Administration: +1 702 261 5100
Rent-a-Car Center: +1 702 261 6001
Parking Information: +1 702 261 5121
General Information: +1 702 261 5211
Flight Information: +1 702 261 4636
Mobility Assistance: +1 702 261 5475
McCarran International Airport offers a full array of facilities for the seeing/hearing impaired, as well as for passengers with special needs and reduced mobility. Wheelchair service is provided; contact staff on one of the white courtesy telephones or contact your airline or the airport prior to departure.
Restaurants and Bars
Both terminals offer an extensive array of food and beverage options, both before and after the security checkpoints. Full-service dining and fast food is available, as are a number of bars and coffee shops. Brands operating at the airport include Baja Fresh, Sbarro, Big Al’s Chicago Deli, Wolfgang Puck, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Jamba Juice and the Las Vegas Chophouse.
United Club Lounge
The Club at Las
The Club at Las
Money and ATMs
There are more than a dozen ATMs at Las Vegas Airport in both the public and passenger-only zones in both terminals. For full banking services, look for Wells Fargo in the Esplanade public shopping area. In addition, there are Travelex currency exchange centres in the Baggage Re-claim area of Terminal 1 as well as near the E gates in Terminal 3.
Las Vegas Airport has one of the largest arrays of shopping at any airport worldwide. There are numerous gift stores, luggage shops, retail outlets and newsstands throughout the airport (both airside and landside). In addition, the Esplanade public shopping zone in Terminal 1 (Level 2) offers numerous renowned names, including Harley Davidson, Bahama Mama’s Cigars, Bose, Rebel Sports Vegas, Marshall Russo, Brookstone and Hudson Booksellers. Duty-free goods are on offer via Nuance in the passenger-only zone of Terminal 3.