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Las Vegas Airport Shuttles – Are They a Good Deal?

Key Points:

  • Airport shuttles can be a tad cheaper than cabs or rideshare for visitors traveling solo. Cost advantages disappear, however, for groups of 2 or more.
  • Shuttles are slower than other forms of transportation as they often need to drop passengers at multiple resorts.
  • I recommend skipping the airport shuttle and leveraging Uber/Lyft instead.

It’s the first decision to be made after arriving in Las Vegas – How to get from the airport to your hotel.

Among the myriad airport transportation options are shuttles, which are operated by Bell Transportation. While there used to be a few other players in this space, most have now closed up shop.

Early in my own personal Las Vegas adventures, I was a shuttle customer, assuming it was the cheapest, most efficient option available.

For those considering an airport shuttle, I figured it would be helpful to share my thoughts, which should aid you in your decision-making process.

As you’ll quickly surmise, I have strong opinions on this topic.

How Much Do Las Vegas Airport Shuttles Cost?

The shuttle prices to and from the Las Vegas airport listed below are broken down on a per-person (plus fees) basis:

  • Bell Trans: $15 one way & $30 round trip

It’s important to emphasize that shuttles are priced on a per-person basis, as the airport transportation options I’ll be comparing them to charge per trip, as opposed to per person.

Las Vegas Airport Shuttle “Cons”

Shuttles aren’t cheaper than Uber/Lyft

Airport shuttles aren’t typically cheaper than Uber & Lyft, costing $15 or more one way, per person to hotels on the Strip or downtown.

At the moment I’m writing this, an Uber from the airport to Caesars Palace (mid-strip) costs $18, and an Uber to Golden Nugget (mid-Fremont Street) costs $22. While rideshare costs can fluctuate based on demand, that’s pretty close to average.

While a solo traveler could save a few bucks by using a shuttle, couples, and those traveling in larger groups of 3 or 4 would be flushing money down the drain as Uber/Lyft don’t charge per person, but rather per ride, regardless of passenger count.

In 2021, 86% of visitors traveled to Vegas in a group of 2 or more according to the LVCVA, meaning a shuttle simply won’t pan out financially for most.

They aren’t even cheaper than cabs

Giving visitors an option besides taxi cabs, known to scam tourists by taking them on the “scenic route” to drive up the fare, was the original value proposition offered by airport shuttles.

Recently, in an effort to increase trust in taxis, airport flat rates were rolled out that dictate the exact price you’ll pay to reach resorts on and near the Strip. Flat rates range from $19 – $27 depending on which “zone” a resort falls into.

Similar to rideshare options like Uber and Lyft, an airport shuttle could be a cheaper option for a solo traveler, however, those traveling in pairs or groups of 3 or 4 would be better off opting for a direct ride to their hotel.

If you’re both thrifty and headed downtown, you should consider the CX bus route, which will connect you directly to Fremont Street from the airport for $2 per person. It’ll be about the same time commitment as an airport shuttle for a fraction of the price.

Shuttles can be a waste of time

This is a multi-faceted point. First, long waits at the airport are not uncommon. Shuttles aren’t always ready to go when you are.

Once on the shuttle, you’ll likely have to sit through multiple stops as it’s a shared ride (unless you luck out and are the first stop). Typically, resorts on the south end of the Strip like Tropicana, Mandalay Bay, NYNY, and Excalibur are the first stops.

I’ll never forget my first (and last) airport shuttle experience. My wife and I were staying at TI and had to sit through 3 stops at various other resorts on the Strip in a shuttle with an A/C system on the fritz.

Although the financial value proposition increases if your hotel is further from the Airport (because the cab/rideshare fare will be higher), so does the inconvenience factor, as you’re likely to be the last stop of many.

Are you saving enough money to justify sacrificing part of your vacation?

Las Vegas Airport Shuttle “Pros”

Cheaper if traveling alone

As mentioned above, solo travelers can save a few (emphasis on a few) dollars by employing an airport shuttle.

See the sights

This is a stretch, I get it, but, first-time visitors could benefit from the multiple stops made by airport shuttles as it provides an opportunity to “see the sights” along the Strip.

The Verdict on Airport Shuttles

As you can gather, my personal “cons” list is far longer than the “pros” when it comes to airport shuttles in Las Vegas.

Unless you’re traveling solo, and even in that scenario, I’d recommend opting for a more direct form of airport transport.

As pointed out above, Las Vegas airport shuttles aren’t cheaper if you’re traveling in groups of 2 or more. Even if you are traveling solo, the minuscule savings isn’t worth the time wasted.

Ultimately, Las Vegas airport shuttles are a remnant of a bygone era that offers neither comparative value nor convenience – A deadly combination.

If the perfect blend of cheap and convenience is important to you, Uber and Lyft are almost always going to be your answer. It is for me at least.

Related: Transportation Options in Las Vegas and Things to do at the Airport.

Feature Image Credit: ©sainaniritu/123RF.COM

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