About half of Las Vegas tourists arrive by air. This starts their vacation or business trip at McCarran International Airport. There are several ways to get from the airport to the hotels.
Most people decide that a taxi is the best way to leave the airport. This can often start a trip with a ripoff.
Many taxi drivers will ask tourists immediately upon getting into the car, “Have you ever been to Las Vegas?” The answer should always be, “Yes”. The driver is trying to figure out if he can rip you off by taking you on a long trip through the tunnel. This is the southern entrance to the airport that can add $10 to a taxi fare because a driver basically takes his customer around in a circle.
If this ever happens to you, call the Taxi Authority immediately. A simple threat will generally make the taxi driver comp the ride.
There is one fee that cannot be avoided. The cab must tack on $2 for all pickups at the airport. This goes directly to the airport authority. One fee that can be avoided is the $3 surcharge for using a credit card. Make sure to always carry cash if you plan on using taxis.
The fees listed above do not include driver gratuity.
A limousine is the perfect option for those that wish to arrive in style. The driver will meet guests at the bottom of the escalators with a sign showing the name of the passenger. A Sedan starts at about $60. A standard limo is about $80. Stretch limos and SUVs will run over $100. Expect to pay more if your flight is late. The rate may already include a tip so make sure to ask.
Airport shuttles operate 24 hours a day. Rates are generally $7 one way and $13 round trip for the Strip. Downtown and resorts off the Strip are $9 one way and $17 round trip. These are good options for one or two travelers. Large groups are better off taking a cab and in some cases even a limo.
Some casinos located in the locals market offer free airport shuttles. Check with the hotel before your trip to find out if your hotel offers this service and when it arrives.
Las Vegas is one of the cheapest places to rent a car. Small cars can be rented for $25 or $30 a day. This includes taxes. There is no reason to look for better rates away from the airport. They are usually identical with the base rate higher to offset the airport taxes that are absent.
Visitors that rent a car should exit the west door at baggage claim. There is a free shuttle that goes directly to the McCarran Car Rental Center. It is located about one mile from the airport.
Once you have managed to get to your hotel room, it is time to take in the sights. There are several options for getting from one place to another.
The Las Vegas Strip is much larger than new visitors may think. Walking farther than two casinos can become quite exhausting, especially in the summer months when it is over 100 degrees well into the night.
There is a taxi stand at the main entrance of every casino. Large ones will have multiple places to catch a taxi. The rates are the same when picking up at a casino as they are at the airport with the exception of the $2 airport pickup fee. Las Vegas taxis cannot pick up anyone on the side of the road. Riders must catch them at designated areas.
Off Strip casinos run free shuttles. Preference is always given to guests. Players with higher tiered casino cards will receive priority over all others. Luggage is never allowed on these shuttles.
Rio has a shuttle that runs between it, Harrah’s, and Bally’s. These run every half hour from 10am to 1am.
Palms offers a shuttle between it and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace every half hour between 11am and 8pm.
Sam’s Town offers several shuttles. It connects with Fremont and California in the downtown district. It also has a route that goes to Harrah’s on the Strip. These run from 9am to 9pm daily and pick up every half hour.
There is a shuttle that runs from The Orleans, Gold Coast, and The Cromwell on the Las Vegas Strip every 30 minutes from 9am to 12:30am daily. The Cromwell is located on the northeast corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Several Station Casinos properties offer airport and Las Vegas Strip shuttles. These run from 10am to 11pm. Hotels that are serviced include Red Rock, Palace Station and Green Valley Ranch.
There are two forms of buses available to tourists. The Deuce runs 24 hours a day between the Strip and downtown. It stops at all hotels. Prices are $6 for two hours and $8 for a 24 hour pass. These must be purchased at kiosks at the bus stops. There is an express bus that runs from 9am until midnight that connects certain stops with downtown.
The Las Vegas Monorail runs along the east side of the Las Vegas Strip. It has seven stops:
Las Vegas Monorail Rates
Locals may receive a roundtrip pass for $2 onetime per day. The tickets must be purchased at the Las Vegas Monorail offices at MGM Grand or SLS Las Vegas.
Kiosks accept cash and credit cards. Cash customers will receive change in $1 coins.
Uber is currently running in Las Vegas. The app is available in iPhone and Android stores. Uber does not pick up on the Strip or at the airport, though it does drop off in those restricted areas. It is based mainly in the residential areas and downtown.