There’s nothing quite like the excitement of getting off your flight in Las Vegas. You’re so close to the strip it almost feels walkable. Unfortunately, that’s not an option so in this article we’re going to explore whether hailing a taxi or uber at Las Vegas is best for you. I was just in town over the weekend and here are my impressions:
Las Vegas Taxi:
Ah, Las Vegas taxis. These guys have a well-documented history of long hauling tourists via unnecessary freeways to maximize revenue on their airport pickups. What should be a 3-4 mile trip has often ballooned to 8. And people wonder why uber exploded onto the scene…
The process for hailing a taxi from McCarran is fairly simple. In terminal 1 it’s right outside baggage claim, at Terminal 3 it’s outside on level zero. You’ll step outside and see a line being guided by airport personnel. In the old days, you would always have your fingers crossed that the line was short because on busy weekends in could be almost an hour wait. Other times it’s a breeze with no line and you can be on your way to the strip in under a minute.
Uber at Las Vegas McCarran:
Uber is a new entry to McCarran airport after a lengthy political battle cleared all regulatory hurdles. To get an uber at Terminal 1, from Baggage Claim take the elevator near door #2 up to level 2. Cross the pedestrian bridge on level 2 to the Terminal 1 Parking Garage. The Ride Share pick up is located on level 2M of the parking garage.
At Terminal 3, from Baggage Claim, take the elevator near door #52, #54 or #56 up to level 1. Cross the pedestrian bridge on level 1 to the Terminal 3 Parking Garage. The Ride Share pick up is located on the Valet level of the parking garage.
I know, not the most straightforward process. And that’s just getting to the place where you hope your driver will find you. Once you’re at the parking garage, the uber drivers are still in a holding area 5 minutes away, so either try to order your car ahead of time, or be prepared to wait for them to make their way over.
I’d say this can go either way depending on the circumstances. My advice would be to peek outside baggage claim and see what the taxi line looks like. If it’s moving really fast, hop into one and be on your way. Just make sure you tell the driver you want to go the short way exiting on Swenson if that’s the best route to your hotel. Taxis will be a little more expensive than uber, but if you’re on the strip it’s such a short trip that the difference is negligible. If you plan on using a credit card, just confirm that they accept them before you get in.
If the taxi line looks like a nightmare, then uber might be your best bet. Getting to the pickup area isn’t the best experience and finding your ride might cause an additional delay. But overall this beats sitting in a long taxi line in what could be scorching Vegas heat. Another consideration is if you’re going to be heading somewhere other than the strip. The difference in rates between a taxi and uberx can be significant if you’re traveling a long distance. In this scenario, I’d always lean towards uber at Las Vegas McCarran.
When I arrived, the taxi line was only a few minutes long, so I just hopped in and was at The Westin Las Vegas in 5 minutes. I’m confident that got me to where I needed to be much faster than if I had ordered an uber. Plus what’s a few extra bucks when you’re about destroy your savings at the casino? PSA: If you have been living under a rock and don’t already have uber, you can use promo code: iuwql and we’ll each get $15 off a ride.