Las Vegas' McCarran Airport lies only 8km south of downtown Las Vegas.
It has two separate terminal buildings, Terminals 1 and 3. There's also a satellite building, Concourse D, containing D gates and three VIP lounges, which is shared between both terminals:
You can start your Las Vegas experience at the airport, with slot machines in every concourse.
Travelling between terminals
There are two ways of getting around the airport. An automated people mover will take you from your terminal to your gate:
And an Inter-Terminal shuttle bus will take you between terminals, leaving every 12-15 minutes, stopping on Level 0 of both Terminals 1 and 3.
How you get to Las Vegas very much depends on how much time you have and how much you're willing to spend. It's a fairly short journey (though traffic can be heavy), and a taxi is many people's preferred option. It's far cheaper by bus, but a longer journey.
There is no train to the city, but a monorail connection is planned in the coming years.
Ten cab companies operate from the airport. Expect to queue during peak times, but don’t worry, queues typically move quite quickly. Journey time to downtown Las Vegas is around 20 minutes.
Terminal 1, outside baggage claim, exits 1-4
Terminal 3, Level 0
Cost: Around USD 35 (plus 15-20% tip)
To get to the city center by bus, take buses 108 or 109 from Terminal 1 or the Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) bus from Terminal 3. – it'll get you there quicker. Buses leave once every 30 minutes during peak times, and every hour at off-peak times from around 05:45-11:45. Journey time is around 10 minutes to the strip (Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard) and 30 minutes to downtown Las Vegas.
Terminal 1, level 0, one level down from baggage claim
Terminal 3, level 2, departures curb, across from door 44
Cost: USD 2 one-way
Buying tickets: On the bus (exact fare in coins only) or at vending machines at the bus stop (cards only)
Citizens or nationals from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and 38 countries participating in the US visa waiver program are eligible to use the automated passport control kiosks. You will be asked to complete the questionnaire at the kiosk and your photo will be taken to complete the process. Take the printed receipt to the checkpoint for final clearance.
For departures, Terminal 3 also offers new self-boarding podiums that allow passengers to scan their boarding pass and enter a secured door without the help of an attendant.
Taxi drivers have been to known to take a longer route to and from the airport in order to boost fares. In order to avoid being 'long-hauled', simply tell the driver where you want to go and say, “no tunnel”. The driver should not take the Interstate and the fare should be no higher than USD 17 to Mandalay Bay as per the Taxi Commission.
If you suspect you have been scammed, seek assistance from the valet at your hotel or contact the Nevada Taxicab Authority before you pay.
Las Vegas is the world capital of gambling, so it only seems logical that the gambling starts at the airport already.
There are slot machines all over the airport. They're waiting for travellers with some remaining currency to offload, or with a desire to pay their first tribute to the gambling gods right after landing in Vegas. You can even gamble at the slots next to the carousels while waiting for your luggage to arrive.
The infamous Las Vegas Strip is only a few miles away from the airport, so a long layover may mean you’ve got enough time to see a few sights by using a taxi.
Be aware that McCarran Airport typically has long security checkpoint lines and there can be delays getting to and from the airport. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport if you plan on exploring the Las Vegas strip in between flights.
If you'd rather skip the slot machines and learn more about the planes you're flying in, head to the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum. Aviation lovers will enjoy exploring 3,000 square feet of rich exhibits detailing the aviation history of southern Nevada.
Esplanade of Terminal 1, after security, Level 2
McCarran International Airport offers its passengers complimentary Wi-Fi access for up to 4 hours throughout all public areas of the airport. To connect, simply select the wireless network "LAS free Wi-Fi" from the network providers, launch your web browser and a Wi-Fi welcome page will guide you through. If your Wi-Fi access runs out after the two hours, you can simply log-in again.
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