If you travel to Las Vegas there is only one airport to land at so it's a good job they made it a pretty decent airport.
When arriving at McCarran airport try to do so at night as you get wonderful views of the strip completely lit up. There is still some good views during the day as well, it just looks more impressive at night.
McCarran is more of a smaller, cosy airport so it is easy to navigate your way out with everything singposted quite well. It didn't take long to get through customs and we only waited about ten minutes for our luggage so we were out of the airport in around half an hour after landing.
One mistake we did make is by going to the taxi stand, this is no way a blemish on the airport (unless they could put some stricter rules in place) but the taxi driver was a complete con artist who took us the long way round (called long-hauling) and then over charged us by $20. Instead head for the shuttle service where you can also book your return trip.
When heading out of Vegas you'll probably remember the layout from when you arrived so it should be easy to navigate your way to the required gate. The staff are all lovely and willing to help out where they can. We had a mix up with our flights and the attandant sorted it out straight away and managed to get us on a flight.
Boarding was pretty swift with the gate opening half an hour before take-off.
There are a few shops and eateries to have a look around while you're there but most of the shops are also found dotted around Vegas itself so they didn't serve much purpose for us.
The most interesting thing about McCarran Airport is that you can start your gambling even before you've collected your luggage. Otherwise it's pretty much just an airport - there are shops and food outlets and so forth, most of which seemed to be closed when we arrived. We had no particular trouble locating the luggage collection area, and our bags came off the plane pretty quickly. We weren't travelling at a peak time in the week, so there weren't any major queues to worry about. The airport staff helped us locate the shuttle bus pickup area - not a pleasant area, I have to say. There was nowhere to sit until the shuttle bus driver elected to open the doors & let us sit in the bus, and it' wasn't very clear where we were meant to line up while waiting for the shuttles. Overall not a bad airport - the staff are friendly and efficient, and we didn't have any delays getting off the plane or collecting our baggage. I guess you can't really ask for much more than that.
I loved this airport, being near the centre of Las Vegas it has the hustle and bustle of the city itself, with lots of people going in and out and a really sense of excitement! Although there is a lot of people, getting through check in and customs was quite easy and the security staff were friendly. There were quite a few shops and food outlets, I had 8 hours to spare before another flight and I decided to stay at the airport, managing to occupy myself fine! There are shops from the various hotels as well, so if you arent going into Vegas itself then you can pick up a few souveniers. I found plenty of places to sit down and read my book and I felt quite safe (as I was on my own). There is also a post office at the airport so you can send your postcards as you are waiting for the next plane!! Also, as you would expect from Vegas there are slot machines eveywhere!!
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is the main airport serving Las Vegas (Sin City) and the surrounding areas including the magnificent Grand Canyon. Having arrived in Vegas by bus, I used the airport to leave on a short flight to LA. The airport is very close to the main strip and is just a short ride away, so it allows you to spend more time in this great city! The aiport itself is clean and getting through check in was easy. Security was tight, and as I only had a one way ticket and a non American, I was taken to a different queue for extra checks which meant walking through an x ray machine that blew air at you checking for explosives - another experience. The staff at this machine were great and I was able to have a laugh with them about these extra security measures! After security there isn't that much to do. There are a few shops and restaurants but nothing to shout about. However, being Vegas there are plenty of fruit machines trying to take the rest of you change (that is of course if you haven't already lost it all!). There aren't many seats as all the gate exits for the various flights are in the same area, so be prepared to stand around or sit on the floor. However, I had no problemes here and wouldn't heistate using this airport again.
Nothing compares with your final approach to Las Vegas airport - it is even more stunning at night. Happy Landings ______________ If arrival at this airport is your first entry into Las Vegas - then it is certainly consistent with Vegas being unlike anywhere else in the world. I have driven to Vegas from LA & Sand Francisco - but nothing could beat the neon feast that meets your eyes as you approach the runway. The sheer size of today's strip and the casinos that line takes your breath away. We flew in on a particularly clear night - the pilot advised us he could see Vegas's lights from about 100 miles out! Some passenger went for a look )pre9/11 steel doors) and confirmed it was clear as a bell. The setting of several miles of the most illuminated manmade structures set within a vast and almost unpopulated desert landscape presents the kind of view I can imagine might come from a morphine induced dream (not suggesting you try it just trying to convey how surreal it feels.) As you step of the plane - prepare to see advert after advert for a casino or show. In the background expect to hear a sound that will become very familiar during you time in Vegas - chinking of slot machines. Yes, you do not even need to clear the airport before you can start losing your money. I'm not a gambler, but the guides tell you that the airport slots offer the worst payouts in town - so save your dollars for the casinos. There are the usual complex shape of airport buildings but eventually you are directed ? Formalities _________ Usual immigration advice applies- don't try to joke with the official unless they joke with you. They have a serious immigration problem in the USA. Immigration and customs are disappointingly mundane. Baggage collection can be hard work at busy times with many many carousels. More like a UK National Coach station than International airp
ort. But the people watching opportunities are excellent. Getting Out of the Airport _____________________ From here into Vegas is not so far - the choice is the usual:- Car Hire - are either via desk at the airport or if pre-booked more often you take a shuttle bus (they run every 10-15 minutes) taking you to an off-airport plot. Here you queue and eventually get in the car. Get them to show you how to get to your hotel on a map they will supply. However you go -do NOT try to drive along the Strip on a Saturday night - it crawls below walking pace. There are several roads that run fast and parallel. Turn it at the last moment to your chosen casino/hotel. The Strip is great to drive but not when you are orienting yourself with a new car on the wrong side of the road. Taxi - your driver will probably tell you all the ticks how to get rich, where his cousin is chef that does the best food and check that you don't need a girl?.smile, relax and tip in proportion to how much fun you had on your trip. He will expect a tip. He will not take credit cards and all airport taxis rides incur about $1.20 extra. Shuttles & Limos - there are a variety of these which offer a bewildering array of fares to take you to your hotel. Ask at airport information for the best one's. It depends how many of you there are as to whether this is cheaper. Flying Back Out _____________ There is little remarkable about leaving - check-in is as usual spread all-over the place and it depends who you fly with where you go - but keep asking / reading the signs and eventually you'll get there. I'd like to be more helpful, but it is hard as I don't know your flight number. Food -there is the usual array of chain based food outlets with no one deserving a special mention. Better to eat a good last "buffet" or better at your casino before getting here if you
ask me. Shopping - a vast proportion of the shops are simply gift shops for one or other casino -as if you hadn't already bought enough overpriced sweatshirts to wear whilst you clean the car back home. Don't hold any hopes for a fantastic final purchase - much better shops in Vegas itself. Head for Waterstones and then Starbucks to read you new book if you ask me. Oh and don't forget you can give all your last dollars to a nice machine that will pretend it might give you more back. For More Information __________________ Call the following as you need:- General Info - (702) 261-5211 Lost & Found - (702) 261-5134 Flight Info - (702) 261-4636 Parking Info - (702) 261-5121 Summary ________ McCarran airport is the gateway to heaven or hell depending on your self-control and ability to turn a blind eye to what goes on and have fun your way. As a gateway it is typically soulless and have nothing special to redeem it. They seem to be forever expanding as the casinos expand. Transport to and from will be busier and more expensive - but I'll do it anyway because Vegas is out of this world. Finally - TOP TIP ______________ Oh and my top tip if you fancy a few beers - then gambler or not:- a) find a casino whose atmosphere you like (not too posh) - say Treasure Island b) set your selves up at the 5 cent poker machines and try your hand. c) Keep your eyes open for the girls serving drink (yes lads they are the ones in the outfits!) d) SMILE and indicate you would like a drink - politely order them keeping your eyes under control and sit and wait e) eventually she will return with said drinks for FREE! f) now this is the important point - TIP HER at least a couple of dollars - you want her to come back don't you. g) repeat at will always SMILING (but don't forget the more you drink th
e worse you gamble so no crazy ideas about how you can bet big and win enormous (that is why the drinks are free) h) keep gambling on the 5C machines too Alternatively - head to the bar and pay maybe $4 per beer!