Air

Approximate flying times to Las Vegas: from New York, 5 hours; from Dallas, 2 hours; from Chicago, 4 hours; from Los Angeles, 1 hour; from San Francisco, 1½ hours.

If you're leaving Las Vegas on a Sunday, be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time. Though the TSA has improved its operations at McCarran International, security lines on busy days still seemingly stretch forever, and inevitably, travelers miss flights.

Airports

The gateway to Las Vegas is McCarran International Airport (LAS), 5 miles south of the business district and immediately east of the southern end of the Strip. The airport, just a few minutes' drive from the Strip, is well served by nonstop and connecting flights from all around the country and a handful of international destinations. The airport is consistently rated among the most passenger-friendly airports in the United States.

Also, McCarran is close enough to the Strip that, if you ever find yourself there with a few hours to kill, you can easily catch a 15-minute cab ride to one of the South Strip casinos (Mandalay Bay and Luxor are closest) to while away some time. Additionally, as you might expect, McCarran has scads of slot machines to keep you busy.

Airport Transfers

Bus: If you're heading Downtown or to the south end of the Strip, the Regional Transportation Commission's public bus is the cheapest, and often quickest, way from the airport. RTC's Centennial Express (CX) travels from McCarran Airport all the way to Centennial Hills Transit Center in North Las Vegas and includes a stop along the Strip at Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard (between New York–New York and Excalibur), Las Vegas Premium Outlets (near Downtown), and at Casino Center Boulevard and Fremont Street Downtown. The service operates seven days a week from approximately 5 am to midnight. The bus runs approximately every hour. Just know that while the bus is clean and comfortable, it contains no racks for luggage. When boarding the bus, tell the driver where you're going before paying. When on board, alert them to your approaching stop by ringing the buzzer.

The Terminal 1 transit stop for CX is on Level Zero, below baggage claim, at the south end of the bus plaza. Follow signs for Ground Transportation. Once outside, proceed across the pedestrian crosswalk, turn right toward the parking garage, and follow signs for the public bus stop. Exact change of $2 ($1 with a Medicare card, student ID [ages 6–17] or reduced-fare card from another system) is the fare for a single ride. The ticket vending machine accepts credit or debit cards to purchase a 2- or 24-hour pass, $6 and $8, respectively; passes also can be purchased aboard Deuce buses and SDX vehicles. The ride from the airport to the Strip will take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on ridership and traffic; to Downtown about 30 to 55 minutes. The transit stop for CX in Terminal 3 is on the Departures Level. Follow signs for Ground Transportation and then for Public Transportation. Download a free Park & Ride Airport Guide at rtcsnv.com.

Ride share: Both Uber and Lyft are allowed to both drop off and pick up at McCarran International Airport. Use the app on your phone to book them. The pickup spots at the airport are on Level 2M of the Terminal 1 parking garage and the Valet Level of the Terminal 3 parking garage. They are not allowed to pick up at the arrivals or departures area of either terminal.

Shuttle van: This is one of the cheapest ways to get from McCarran to your hotel if you don't take the public bus. Shuttle service operated by SuperShuttle, BellTrans, and ODS is shared with other riders, and costs $15 to $18 per person, depending on the location of the hotel (excluding tips). If you have a large party, group rates are available. The vans wait for passengers outside the terminal in marked areas. Because the vans often make numerous stops at different hotels, it's not the best means of transportation if you're in a hurry. For round-trip service, save time and money by booking online and printing out your vouchers beforehand. Before you jump on a shuttle, check with your hotel, because several of them, such as Green Valley Ranch in Henderson and Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, offer customers free round-trip shuttle rides.

Taxi: There are still taxis in Las Vegas, and metered cabs operated by more than 10 companies and awaiting your arrival at McCarran remain one of the quickest ways to get to your destination (see Taxi Travel below for more information).

Town car: These rides by companies, including AWG Ambassador, Bell Limousine, and ODS, are a bit more expensive than the average taxi and must be reserved ahead of time, but they are cleaner and more convenient. A chauffeur from Bell Limousines, for example, will meet and greet you at baggage claim, assist with luggage, and whisk you away in a luxury sedan, with seating for up to five, for $55 an hour.

Flights

The major airlines operate frequent service from their hub cities and, as a whole, offer one-stop connecting flights from virtually every city in the country. In addition to nonstop service from the usual hub cities (e.g., Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Newark, New York City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco), nonstop service is offered to many other destinations, sometimes by smaller airlines. Southwest remains a dominant airline, offering frequent flights to many cities in the south and west, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver, Albuquerque, and Phoenix. Be sure to check the rates of the airlines that serve Las Vegas frequently from multiple cities, such as Delta, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, United, American, and Alaska Airlines.

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