There is a whole range of transportation options from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas: rental cars, taxicabs, ride-shares, limos, and buses. The monorail doesn't go all the way out to the airport and there are no walkable paths to get there. To decide which is best for you, first consider how much traveling you'll want to do once you get to Vegas. If you're staying on the Strip or downtown, then renting a car may be more of a hindrance than a convenience, but if you plan to sightsee around the city and beyond, a rental may be the way to go.
Keep in mind that all of the hotel-casinos offer free parking.
No matter what mode of transportation you choose, you'll need to know how to get to and from McCarran International Airport. Traffic around Las Vegas can be stressful. Because it's a 24-hour town with shifts ending throughout the day and night, you never know when you're going to hit a jam. Generally speaking, the freeways and major streets are busier from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. so allow extra time to reach your destination during those hours.
The transportation businesses listed are a few of the available options—for more, visit the McCarran International Airport website.
Taxis are among the fastest way to get to your hotel (in 30 minutes or less). There's no shortage of cabs in Las Vegas, as you'll see when you exit baggage claim at Doors 1 to 5. Though there's sometimes a line for cabs, it moves quickly and will be less of a wait than the other available modes of transportation.
There are 16 taxicab companies in the Las Vegas area, and the fares are regulated. When you get into a cab, the meter starts at $3.30 and if you are getting a cab at McCarran, there's an airport charge of $1.80. After that, the meter charges 2.60 per mile (plus waiting time if the cab is going slower than 8-12 miles per hour). Most trips from the airport to the Strip run between $12 and $17. Central Strip will average $18, north Strip will be around $22, and downtown will cost close to $26.
In Las Vegas, cabs can only pick you up at the airport or from your hotel. You cannot hail one on the street so if you're out partying or shopping, go to the nearest hotel to get a cab.
Lyft and Uber are authorized to provide ride-sharing services at the airport. Arrange for a ride using the app on your smartphone or mobile device. Ride-shares can drop off passengers at the airport’s departures curbs at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Designated Ride-share passenger pick up locations are level 2M of the parking garage and Valet level of the Terminal 3 parking garage.
RTC Public Buses
If you’re flying into Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) public bus system has a convenient way for you to travel to and from McCarran International Airport and your vacation destinations.
Their Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) provides direct transportation to/from the airport’s Terminal 1 and 3 from/to Downtown Las Vegas or Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Blvd. (the stop is located on eastbound Tropicana, alongside the Tropicana Hotel).
The RTC Centennial Express (CX) also provides direct transportation to/from the airport’s Terminal 3 from/to Downtown Las Vegas as well as a stop at Las Vegas Blvd and Spring Mountain. You can travel between Terminal 1 and 3 on the airport’s inter-terminal shuttle.
The Strip & Downtown Express (SDX) also travels to the South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT), where you can transfer to Route 109 for service to Terminal 1. If you are coming from/going to the Stratosphere, the LVH or the Las Vegas Convention Center, board Route 108 southbound, which stops at McCarran Airport Terminal 1.
RTC Fares are $2 one way for residential routes, $6 for 2-hour pass and $8 for a 24-hour pass on the Deuce and Strip and Downtown Express.
The McCarran Rent-A-Car Center (702-261-6001) consolidates 11 of the car rental companies into one giant building, about 3 miles from the airport. A free shuttle to the center departs the airport every five minutes from Doors 10 and 11. Each rental agency has its own kiosk, and people are generally in and out efficiently. Still, the process will easily take 30 minutes, even on a good day.
The airport is next to two major highways (Interstate 15 and Interstate 215), and it's simple to navigate to your destination. Getting around Las Vegas is also simple—it's a grid.
Shuttles and Limos
Shuttle and limousine services are often offered by the same company. Catch them on the west side of baggage claim, outside Doors 8 to 13.
Shuttles tend to be the most affordable option; it's $5 or $6 to Strip hotels and a few dollars more for downtown and off-Strip hotels. Also, check with your hotel to see if it offers its own shuttle service (often free). But be prepared to wait—the buses generally don't leave until they are fairly full, and the wait can be up to an hour.
Limo services can be surprisingly affordable, considering they charge by the hour (from $42 up). If you have a long trip, a limo may be cheaper than a cab. Plus, if you order one ahead of time, a limo driver carrying a sign with your name on it will meet you in baggage claim, and you'll likely be whisked from the airport more quickly than in a cab.
Limo services include: