You have finally booked your hotel and you know where to eat. You’ve bought tickets for the shows and know exactly what casino you plan to spend the rest of the money at on The Strip. But there’s one final detail as the date gets closer to your long-awaited Las Vegas vacation. Before you spend time walking along the famous Las Vegas Boulevard, you’ll need to enter the city at the iconic Las Vegas airport.
The most famous and busiest airport in Las Vegas is Harry Reid International Airport. Located in Paradise Nevada on the west side, the Harry Reid International Airport is just two miles outside of downtown Las Vegas and the famous Strip, making it the perfect airport to fly into for your Las Vegas getaway. Whether flying in via Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, or Virgin Atlantic, the airport has you covered with ground transportation and little passenger traffic. There will be no waits for two hours like trips to LAX, JFK International or other busy airports around the country.
But there are several tricks, tips and services that can help when navigating the airport, including understanding its many names, finding your way through the three terminals and securing a ride to your nearby hotel. There are also a wide selection of restaurants and attractions that can make the airport a destination worth visiting all by itself. Here is everything you need to know about the Las Vegas landmark, Harry Reid International Airport and the services it provides.
McCarran , Harry Reid, LAS: The Airport with Many Names
One of the first confusing elements you will encounter on a trip to Las Vegas is the name of the airport. Is it called the Harry Reid International Airport? Is it called the McCarran airport? What about LAS? As tricky as it may seem, all of these are the same place.
Originally called the McCarran Airport after Senator Pat McCarran and McCarran field, the FAA approved the name change recently in June 2021. Signs are still undergoing the process of the name change and the decision itself is costing a reported $4.2 million. Funding for the name change is resulting from donations to the Las Vegas airport directly.
The name change is to honor famed Senator from Nevada Harry Reid who passed away in December of 2021. Reid was a long-time proponent of aviation and airlines and provided valuable service to the state of Nevada. The Clark County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of the name change shortly after his passing in December of 2021. The airport code “LAS” will continue to stay the same for the Las Vegas airport to help assist incoming airlines and avoid any potential confusion.
Which Airline Are You Flying With To Las Vegas?
Nearly all of the major aviation companies fly into Harry Reid International Airport Las Vegas. This includes famous airlines such as British Airways, Air Canada, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Spirit Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.
There are also several international flights and aviation companies that fly into the Las Vegas international airport as well including WestJet airline which flies to Canada, Korean Air which flys to Seoul, KLM which flys to Amsterdam, Eurowings Discover which flys to Germany, Copa Airlines which fly to Panama and Aeromexico which flys to Mexico City.
Even several cargo flights travel into the Las Vegas Airport including aviation divisions of Ameriflight, FedEX Express and UPS Airlines to make sure all packages and luggage arrive on time.
How Many Terminals Are There At The Las Vegas Airport?
This is another trick question. While you might see Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 when walking through the Nevada airport, you won’t be able to find a Terminal 2. That is because Terminal 2 was demolished in 2016. There are two passenger terminals for flights at Harry Reid International, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, and five Concourse E terminals with a total of 108 different gates.
Terminal 1 was built in 1963 and expanded between the years of 1970 and 1974. Terminal 1 has four runways, and each one is connected to a central pre-security area at the Las Vegas airport. The last concourse, D gates, opened in the year 1998.
Terminal 3 was built on the eastern side of the Harry Reid International Airport Corridor and is located slightly north of Concourse D. Terminal 3 has 14 gates, seven domestic and seven international. Of the seven international gates, four of them have two jetways to allow for quicker handling of wide-body aircrafts at the Las Vegas airport.
Hitching a Ride
Looking to get a ride from the Las Vegas airport to the Las Vegas strip? Maybe heading straight to the Sahara Casino or the Welcome To Las Vegas sign? Not to worry, there are plenty of options for your journey downtown to explore the city. And many are located near baggage claim area.
Road access to Harry Reid International is provided by Paradise Road to the north and Harry Reid Airport Connector to the south, which connects to the Las Vegas beltway, known as the Westcliff Airport Express.
Rideshare options are available from Harry Reid International as well. From baggage claim, follow signs and take the elevator near doors 52, 54 or 56 up to level 1. Once you’ve arrived, cross the pedestrian bridge on level 1 and head to the Terminal 3 parking garage. The rideshare pickup location for the Las Vegas airport is located on the valet level of the parking garage.
Prices for Uber and Lyft range depending on the time and date someone is flying in, but average charges are listed at around $0.30 per minute and $1.85 per mile, making the average Uber or Lyft from the airport to the city of Las Vegas around $15. Prices can jump above $25 depending on traffic and any events taking place in the surrounding area. The average price for a taxi making the same trip to the Las Vegas strip is estimated at $23, which makes Ride Share the best possible option and cheapest method for driving directly into the city.
Plan on leaving your car overnight at the airport for a trip? Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at the Las Vegas airport have their own parking garage, each of which has its own economy lot which provides lower parking rates. Complimentary shuttle transportation is provided between the vehicle lots and the terminals as well.
In 2016, the Las Vegas airport also opened a cellphone lot too, which provides free parking to people waiting for arriving passengers, making it a convenient option.
While there are always plans to extend the Las Vegas monorail throughout the city, nothing has been completed yet for the Las Vegas airport, although future potential plans are estimated to take place roughly in the year 2024.
Renting a Car
Car rental options are also available for those flying into Harry Reid international, but there are some things to know before you commit to taking that road trip past the city and down the historic Route 66.
Nevada has the highest rental car taxes and fees in the nation, and Las Vegas has its own set of extra surcharges for car renters. But if you’re looking to arrive downtown in style, it’s worth checking out one of the 11 rental car companies that have a spot at Las Vegas airport rent a car center located just three miles south of the airport near the city.
The Las Vegas airport offers a courtesy shuttle service that arrives every five to seven minutes to get down to the car rental center. Upon arriving, you’ll see all the big names: Alamo Rent a Car, Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty Car Rentals.
For those with a little more in the budget and looking for the ultimate Las Vegas experience, limo rentals can also be secured from the two passenger terminals. Bell limousine offers the best car rental rates for those hoping to explore the Las Vegas area in style and trips to Las Vegas Blvd can be reserved by visiting their website.
Where to Stay Near The Las Vegas Airport
With plenty of hotels located on Las Vegas Blvd and throughout the Las Vegas valley, finding somewhere to stay is never a worry. But the Las Vegas airport has you covered with its very own hotel as well. The closest you can stay to the Las Vegas airport is the Best Western, located at the Harry Reid International Airport. The Las Vegas airport hotels offer complimentary hot breakfast, free high-speed internet, a complimentary shuttle to the Las Vegas strip and an outdoor pool.
There are also several hotels in close proximity to the Las Vegas airport that offer free shuttle services. Hotels that offer free driving to the C gates include El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas, Palace Station, South Point, Silverton, Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch. While other hotels located closer to the strip do not offer free shuttles, they offer easy access to cabs, taxis and rideshare vehicles to make it in time for your check-in.
What to do during a delay
No matter how great the airport, or how well established the airlines are, delays are inevitable. But fortunately for anyone flying in to or out of the Las Vegas airport, there is plenty to keep you occupied at the airport. Instead of sitting impatiently at the D Gates, the Las Vegas airport offers a kid’s play area, slot machines, the cannon aviation museum and a variety of other services for guests to enjoy.
Things To Do At The Las Vegas Airport For The Kids
Located on Level 2 of the D Concourse is a children’s play area. It features large windows with telescopes where children can look out at the incoming and outgoing flights from the Las Vegas airport as well as a modern designed play place with windows and steps to explore the aviation themed play area.
Things To Do At The Las Vegas Airport For The Adults
Loose slot machines are also plenty at the Las Vegas airport, with over 1,400 slot machines available in the terminal buildings. Las Vegas is known for its gambling persona, and the Harry Reid International Airport honors the longstanding tradition.
There are also high winnings to be had at the Las Vegas airport. In March of 2021, one lucky traveler killing time before her flight back home decided to play the Wheel of Fortune slot machine located at the B concourse of the Las Vegas airport. She struck gold and won $302,334.86 in her last gambling moment before heading back to Texas. She made more money at the airport than she did during her stay in downtown Las Vegas.
Stop by the Aviation Museum
Guests of the Las Vegas airport are also welcome to check out the Aviation Museum located above the baggage claim areas with additional exhibits throughout the two terminals of the Las Vegas airport.
The Howard W. Cannon Museum focuses on the history of aviation in Las Vegas as well as Southern Nevada. It features artifacts from the first flight in 1920 through the introduction of jets. Several prized items worth seeing at this downtown Las Vegas landmark include a red 1956 Ford Thunderbird convertible that was used during emergencies early on in the airports history due to its light and fast response time over main fire and rescue vehicles.
The museum also touches on the history of Las Vegas including the first airfield built-in 1920 in Clark County. Known as the Anderson Field, it was designed by Robert Hausler and was located where the parking lot of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas is today.
Where to Eat At The Las Vegas Airport
Harry Reid International Airport has a variety of restaurants for those arriving to the airport early for check-in.
Terminal 1 has a several different options including Bagelmania next to Gate A, Jamba Juice in the post-security food court, Great Steak & Potato Co near Gate A 23 and Moe’s Southwest Grill next to Gate A 15. Terminal 1 also offers Shake Shack in the post-security food court along with Cocktail 3 for those looking to get a drink before or after their flight.
Near the B Gates in Terminal 1 are additional options including Einstein Bros. Bagel, Fresh Attractions, Mrs. Fields, and Port of Subs. Looking for something fancy in the Terminal 1 section, there is the Red Star Lounge near Gate B 9 and the PGA Tour Grill located between Gates B 15 and B 17.
Terminal 3 has a variety of food options as well ranging from sit-down meals to quick to-go options to meet any need. Near the E Gates of Terminal 3 are Burger King, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf as well as The Local which offers bar service. For a leisurely meal, the Village Pub is open across from Gate E 14.
For a sit-down experience, the Terminal 1 D Gates have some of the fan-favorite options. These include a California Pizza Kitchen, a Cinnabon, a Wolfgang Puck Express, Chili’s, Metro Pizza, Rachel’s Kitchen, Ruby’s Diner and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Grill.
The most exclusive option for guests is the Centurion Lounge which is a members-only facility. Located near Gate D 1, the lounge offers drinks and dining service.
Other bars for those looking to get a quick drink include the Crafted Bar near Gate D 38 as well as the Estrella Jalisco Bar located near Gate D 7.
For those looking to get a quick jump start to their trip, there is also a Starbucks Coffee located within Terminal 1 near the baggage claim area.
Whether flying in on Allegiant Air, Southwest Airlines or any other airlines arriving in Vegas, the Harry Reid International Airport will be the first experience you have when arriving in Vegas. Before heading in to the city and to Las Vegas Blvd, you’ll see the slot machines that line the terminals, the variety of aircrafts pulling into the runways and the many different sights and sounds associated with Las Vegas.
The airport offers a wide range of food and restaurants, a museum to spend the day looking at Las Vegas history, a play place to let the kids explore the airport, and several services for cars and hotels to ensure that your upcoming trip is one to remember. So before you book the trip, check out all the benefits that the Las Vegas airport has to offer.
Which is the main airport in Las Vegas?
The Main airport in Las Vegas is the Harry Reid International Airport. Other airports located near Las Vegas and in the state of Nevada include the Henderson Executive Airport, North Las Vegas Airport and Jean Airport in Clark County, Nevada.
Are there two Las Vegas airports?
While there are several airports near Las Vegas, it turns out the McCarran International Airport and the Harry Reid International Airport are one in the same. To avoid any confusion, both are referred to by the airport code “LAS”. McCarran is the old name for Harry Reid International Airport. The name change occurred in December of 2021.
How many terminals are at LAS?
There are two terminals at Harry Reid International Airport. Terminal 1 opened in 1963 and was expanded in 1970 to have both A and B gates. Terminal 2 was completed in 1986 but was demolished in 2016 after Terminal 3 was completed in 2012.