McCarran International Airport (LAS) - 5757 Wayne Newton Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 702-261-5211

As you can see by the photo on the left, the airport appears to be nearly at the Luxor's front door. While some of the airport property is located directly east of Las Vegas Blvd. just south of Tropicana, you'll still have to take transportation from the main terminal or walk at least two miles to get to the strip. The public bus system (CAT) is about $2, mini shuttle buses are about $5 per person; taxi fare varies from a minimum of about $15 to the south strip, $20-$25 to the north strip, and about $30-$35 to downtown (Fremont Street).

The distance from the airport to the strip is 2 miles. The strip (Tropicana to Sahara) is 4 miles long. From the north end of the strip (Sahara) to downtown (Fremont Street) is 2 miles.

Walking is, of course, the cheapest option. If you travel very light (one small carryon bag) the walk can be a pleasant way to unwind from the stresses of the airport security procedures and the flight. It is about 2 miles down Tropicana to the south strip, however, so don't expect an easy walk if it's 114 degrees. The bus for $2 is faster but probably will add to your stress. Likewise with the shuttles, which may be packed full and may stop at several properties before reaching yours. If you're going to Las Vegas you're probably planning to risk at least several hundred dollars gambling, so the best option is to spring for the taxi and ride in comfort.

Some cab drivers will try to take advantage of tourists, however. One trick of theirs is to ask if you want to take the freeway to "avoid traffic", or they might not ask and just take the freeway anyway. If they turn right into a tunnel after leaving the airport terminal area, they're taking the freeway.

The freeway route can be a tossup if you're going downtown; and maybe the extreme north strip (Stratosphere area.) If traffic is heavy on Paradise Rd., Las Vegas Blvd. and other "surface streets", the freeway route can be both faster and less expensive for a long trip to downtown or the north strip. But if you're staying in the popular mid to south strip area (between Mandalay Bay on the south and Wynn, Venetian or Treasure Island on the north) the freeway almost always adds unneccessary mileage and about $5 extra to the fare. The honest cabbie will take Koval Lane or Paradise northbound to the rear entry of an east strip property (Paris & Ballys area) or Las Vegas Blvd. or Industrial Ave. (Dean Martin Drive) for west strip properties (Caesars, Monte Carlo, Mirage, etc.) Taking the freeway loops you around the south side of the airport and then takes you about a half mile west of the strip so you have to double back to the strip.

The best instructions to give the taxi driver are either "take the fastest route" or "take the least expensive route." The freeway will almost always be faster; and almost always more expensive. Heavy traffic or an accident either on the freeway or the surface streets along your route can reverse that "almost always" rule of thumb.

Men taking cabs from the airport might also be hustled into visiting a "clip joint". When you take a taxi in Las Vegas, you tell the driver where to go. Don't let the driver talk you into ANYTHING.