What is the best way to get from McCarran International Airport to your hotel on the Strip or Fremont Street? What do the various airport transportation options cost? We wanted to summarize the most common methods of transportation so that visitors can find a solution that fits their needs and budget.
Note that cost estimates for getting from McCarran International to your hotel in Vegas using ride share apps like Uber and Lyft may be slightly different than what you will pay while in town as pricing is based on demand. The app will always tell you what your ride will cost before you agree to take it however.
The first task you encounter when getting into town is getting from McCarran International Airport to your hotel on the Strip or on Fremont Street – Below are your options:
WAX to Fremont Street from the Airport
If staying on Fremont street, the WAX (Westcliff Airport Express) city bus runs from the airport, down the Interstate 15 to Fremont street and is by FAR your cheapest option to get from McCarran International to the Fremont Street Experience. The WAX departs McCarran about hourly and you can view the schedule HERE. The WAX picks up at both level 0 of terminal 1 as well as at Terminal 3 at the departures level. A one way trip on the WAX will set you back only $2.
RTC Bus to the Vegas Strip from the Airport
Route 109 departs terminal 1 frequently and will take you to the South Strip Transfer Terminal where you can then hop on either the SDX (Strip and Downtown Express) or the Deuce to complete the trip from the Airport to your Strip hotel by bus. (View Stops on the Strip for the SDX and Deuce HERE) You can buy a $6, 2-hour strip and all access pass that will allow you to board the 109 and transfer to the Deuce or SDX to get to your hotel.
Tickets for the RTC can be purchased from a machine located in Level 0 of terminal 1, on the bus, or through the phone app!
You can also take the RTC back to McCarran from your hotel on the Strip or Fremont. You will be dropped off at Terminal 1 and can take the inter-terminal shuttle to terminal 3 if need be.
There are a few other less common bus options that may make sense traveling to or from McCarran to the strip. You can use the RTC trip planning feature to plan your bus ride from the airport to your hotel to ensure you are utilizing the right route!
Generally shared, shuttles can be a cost-effective transportation option for getting from the airport to your Las Vegas Hotel. Cost for a Vegas Airport shuttle is generally $15-$20 per person – Round Trip.
Some hotels, typically off the Strip, such as Palace Station offer a free airport shuttle as a courtesy to their guests. Check to see if this is something your resort offers.
Trip to Strip RTC Shuttle
A recently introduced service of the RTC, Trip to Strip is a combination of ride share and bus service. Similarly to ride share, you reserve a ride from a phone app, however, you will be picked up at one of the numerous RTC bus stops sprinkled about. Trip to Strip remains inexpensive during peak times as well as surge pricing is not utilized. Currently, this service is available to and from the airport and this coverage area which includes all the major Strip/Fremont resorts.
Trip to Strip Example Fares (2 riders):
McCarran Airport to Caesars Palace: $12
McCarran Airport to Mandalay Bay: $11.55
McCarran Airport to Golden Nugget: $12
You can catch a cab from McCarran to the Strip and Fremont but it’s not as inexpensive as an Uber or Lyft. You can jump in the cab queue near the baggage claim in Terminal 1 and Level 0 outside Terminal 3. Taxi drivers in Vegas get bad rap due to the illegal practice of long hauling or taking a longer route than necessary to drive up the fare. There are still a few folks out there fiercely loyal to Vegas cabs but I would advise you to use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft instead while in town as they are less expensive and feature transparent pricing.
Approximate Cab Fares from McCarran Intl.
Cab fare from McCarran to Bellagio: $18.45 +Tip
Cab fare from McCarran to Stratosphere: $20.60 +Tip
Cab fare from McCarran to Venetian: $22.25 +Tip
If you are using a taxi in Vegas, don’t forget to tip! Check out our Las Vegas Tipping Guide here. Generally you should tip a Vegas cab driver around 15% of your fare.
You can catch Uber/Lyft rides at the designated ride share pickup location at McCarran International Airport which is located on either the second level 2 of the terminal 1 parking ramp or the valet level of terminal 3. You can share a ride using Uber Pool to save a few bucks and UberX is a car that you will have to yourself.
Please note that trip prices can fluctuate based on demand. The beauty of Uber and Lyft though is that you know the price upfront. There will rarely be surprises. Tipping is technically optional for rideshare operators, however, a few bucks is much appreciated and you can tip after the ride from the app on your phone.
Example Fare (Tip Not Included):
Airport to Bellagio: $9 using Uber Pool / $16 using UberX
Airport to Golden Nugget: $10 using Uber Pool / $20 using UberX
Airport to Stratosphere: $8 using Uber Pool / $12 using UberX
Note that it is possible for ride share operators to long haul, or take the scenic route, to drive up your fare. The beauty of ride share applications, however, is the ease in which you can challenge a suspicious route. Recently, I was quoted $11 for my trip from the airport to Caesars Palace. I noticed the driver deviated from Uber’s prescribed route and took the freeway tunnel (a sign you are being taken for a ride). After arriving at Caesars, my receipt from Uber was for over $20. I challenged the fare from inside the app and my charge was adjusted by Uber to reflect the quoted $11 before I got to my hotel room.
We are hopeful that our overview of options for getting to your Las Vegas hotel from the airport was helpful! Have a fantastic trip and ensure you leave your thoughts on any of the above transportation options in the comments!