2.7 Arrival ...and getting to the hotel
Upon arrival at McCarran International Airport, head to the baggage area to claim your checked baggage. Be sure to check the claim check number and name tag to make sure it is yours. Many pieces of luggage look alike, and you don't want to walk off with someone else's.
Immediately notify your airline if your luggage is damaged or does not arrive as scheduled. (See the previous section about dealing with lost luggage.) As a general rule, claims must be filed, in person, within four hours of your flight's arrival.
There are two terminals at McCarran. Terminal 1 serves domestic airlines while Terminal 2 is primarily for international and charter flights. In 2012, a new Terminal 3 will open. You will find a handy airline arrival/departure list here.
There are four sets of gates in Termnal 1: Concourse A, B, C and D. If you flew US Airways, you will arrive at Concourse A.
Southwest flights come in on Concourse B or C. You will probably arrive on Concourse D if you fly American, Delta, United or another airline. Check the airport guide if you flew any other airline.
One of the first things you will notice when you get off the plane is that you can gamble in the airport lobbies and baggage area. Get used to seeing banks of jingling slot machines everywhere, sometimes even in the bathrooms! It is a way of life in Las Vegas. But refrain from playing any of them at the airport. Their captive audience has the worst slot machine odds in Las Vegas. There are no table games (craps, roulette, blackjack and such) at the airport.
It is a long journey to the main airport terminal area and you can take the tram or walk. If you walk you’ll enjoy the luxury of moving sidewalks every so often. Make your way towards the main terminal and baggage claim area which will be down stairs. Be sure you have your claim tickets with you which may or may not be checked.
A little known service is that the MGM Grand and Signature hotels have remote check in counters at the airport near the baggage claim area in Terminal 1. It is open from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m..Tuesday & Wednesday; 9:00 a.m.-- to 10:00 p.m. Thursday to Monday. Guests staying at these hotels can check in right at the airport. It is located in the South baggage claim area directly across from carousels #1 and #2, at the base of the escalators. While you will be able to get your room keys and purchase transportation to the hotel there, you will have to get your own bags to your room.
The rental car counters are near the baggage claim area. You’ll have to ride a bus to get to the various rental car lots. We do not recommend that you rent a car in Las Vegas. Public transportation is more efficient and easier to deal with. More on this later.
Shuttles to your hotel
You will find taxis and the shuttle buses that run to the Strip or downtown just outside the baggage area. We recommend purchasing a round trip shuttle bus ride.
The shuttle buses are located outside on the north and west sides of baggage claim, outside door exits 8-14. A map of the baggage claim area and shuttle bus and taxi stands is located here.
Airport shuttle coaches and buses run seven days a week every ten to fifteen minutes from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. It takes about 30 minutes to get to your hotel on The Strip. You’ll see several ticket windows right near the outside doors. Cost will be around $10 each for a round trip ticket and you do not need to purchase them in advance. Be sure to ask the driver for a telephone number to call to be picked up for return to the airport.
Taxicabs are available outside on the east side of baggage claim, outside of door exits 1-5. We recommend, however, that you take the shuttle. There is no direct city bus service from the airport to the Vegas Strip.
The Las Vegas Strip is a little more than 3 miles long and extends from the Stratosphere Hotel-Casino on the north to the Mandalay Bay Resort-Casino on the south.