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Arriving at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas can be a bit overwhelming to the new or infrequent visitor. Over many years, the airport has expanded exponentially to meet the growing demand of tourists worldwide.
A car is usually recommended to enjoy the area fully. Not too long ago, renting a car would involve exiting baggage claim and crossing a busy and exhaust-fume filled lane and locating the shuttle bus for your car rental company of choice. It also involved a lot of walking, hopefully in the right direction, dragging your luggage along with you.
That has all changed now, much to the delight of business travelers and tourists alike. McCarran Airport has established an offsite rent-a-car center. Located at 7135 Gillespie Street, it is close enough to get you from the airport to the rental car center in nine minutes, but far enough away so you can avoid all the congestion of the traffic at the airport. The buses are handicapped accessible, with friendly drivers who cheerfully keep you well informed of the process and invite questions. They go out of their way to help any person who needs assistance with getting their bags in or out of the bus.
To find the shuttle bus on arrival, exit from door 10 or 11 from baggage claim. The baggage claim area is very large and it is busy at all hours of the day. Ask any airport employee to point in you in the right direction, if you cannot locate it easily yourself. Usually, most of the shuttle service such as aspen airport shuttle service is easy to find. You can easily locate their signs. You just have to be observant in the airport. You can also do your own research ahead of time so you will have a guideline to follow.
These free shuttle buses are available 24/7, and leave every five minutes whether from the airport or from the rent-a-car center. A two-page color brochure can be downloaded. This webpage also lists the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the rental car companies available at the rent-a-car center. All major car rental companies are represented there. The shuttle leaves and arrives promptly. If you are, in fact, the only person on the bus (usually upon returning to the airport), the bus will leave promptly, unless you instruct the driver that it is not necessary!
You never need wonder if you are going to miss your return flight, as returning your car will be a breeze! Do bear in mind that McCarran airport specifically recommends that you be at the airport two full hours before flight time, whether your flight is domestic or international. This recommendation needs to be taken very seriously. Terminal 1 is quite large and requires much walking between ticketing and any one of the four concourses, to your gate. An additional consideration is that the individual tourist or family member visiting their relatives in the Las Vegas area may not be aware if there is a major convention in town, and the lines to pass through security may be quite lengthy in that case.
The rent-a-car center on Gillespie Street is just north of Warm Springs Road. A map shows that you will make a right onto Warm Springs and shortly reach the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard, better known to many as “The Strip.” Make a right on Las Vegas Boulevard to find all the major hotels on “The Strip.” There is no entrance to I-15 at Warm Springs Boulevard. If you need to travel north or south on I-15, ask the rental car clerk for a map and instructions.
Should you need to make use of this, there is a free courtesy shuttle bus service between Terminals 1 and 2. This shuttle is only available during hours of flight operation. Terminal 2 is for all international flights, as well as Hawaiian Airlines. The bus stop at Terminal 2 is located in front of the ticketing lobby entrance, while the bus stop at Terminal 1 is located on the Zero Level, below the baggage claim level. Service is provided every 12 to 15 minutes.
The airport also provides free courtesy shuttles to economy parking to both Terminals 1 and 2. The shuttle stop for Terminal 1 is located on Zero Level. Follow the signs from baggage claim to Zero Level. The shuttle buses operate every 10 to 15 minutes, but it is highly recommended that upon your departure flight day, you factor in an additional 30 minutes to your travel plans. Airport provided shuttles are prompt, but if you “just miss” one, you may be waiting there for another 15 minutes until the next one arrives.
Information on various free shuttles and trams in and around the Las Vegas tourist areas of The Strip and Casino Center can be found here. More free shuttles can be found here. Although not all the listed hotels will pick up free from the airport, shuttles are free to various locations in the Las Vegas Area.
Be sure to check your individual hotel to see if they provide free shuttles to and from the airport. If you purchased your trip as a package through a travel agent, very often airport transfers to your hotel are free, or available at a nominal cost.