McCarran International Airport (LAS) is just a few miles off the Las Vegas Strip, making it the main airport for arrival into the city. Because the airport is so close to the city, you’ll want to take a look out the window during your final descent to catch a bird’s-eye view of the famous Las Vegas Strip and the Mojave Desert.

Over 50 million passengers pass through its gates every year, so it's no surprise that McCarran is one of the busiest international airports in the USA.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas - one of the highlights of Las Vegas Travel Essentials (Read all about Las Vegas here)

photo by anokarina (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

What to expect when arriving at McCarran International Airport?

There are 2 separate terminal buildings at McCarran International Airport, namely Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. If you’re arriving from overseas, you’ll first head downstairs to Level 0 to go through immigration. Those arriving from another destination in the US can head straight to baggage claim.

You'll immediately know that you've landed in Las Vegas, thanks to the many slot machines found throughout the airport. You can start testing your luck if you're not in a rush to get to downtown Vegas. 

Where to eat at McCarran International Airport?

McCarran International Airport has several great dining options if you arrive on an empty stomach. There are plenty of popular fast-food chains like Burger King and Starbucks if you're short on time. For those who have more time to enjoy something substantial, check out the food at Las Vegas Chophouse & Brewery and Village Pub, or excellent margaritas at Jose Cuervo Tequileria.

How to get to Las Vegas from McCarren International Airport?

McCarran International Airport is located in Paradise, around 9 miles south of downtown Las Vegas. You’ll find plenty of taxis just outside of baggage claim at both terminals. As people are constantly arriving, these lines move quickly. For rental cars, you’ll want to follow signs to the McCarran Rent-A-Car shuttle. This takes you to the main rental car building and leaves every 5-10 minutes from both terminals.

Both Lyft and Uber have designated pick-up areas at McCarran International Airport. If you book a car through your phone, make sure to do so when you’re close to the exit or already outside. The rideshare pick-up area for Terminal 1 is on level 2 of the parking garage and Terminal 3 is on the valet level of the parking garage. For a more luxurious ride to the city centre, you can hire a limousine, which is easy to find just outside of baggage claim in both Terminals 1 and 3.

Departing from McCarran International Airport

The most important thing to note when you’re heading to catch a flight at McCarran International Airport is which terminal you are departing from. At Terminal 1, you’ll find major airlines like Southwest, Delta, US Airways and American, and Terminal 3 is home to all international carriers and domestic airlines like United and Frontier. 

After checking in, your boarding pass will show your gate number. Follow the signs and head to the security checkpoint closest to your gate.

We recommend arriving at McCarran International Airport at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight. Once you’ve passed through security, you can enjoy the airport's many shops, restaurants, and slot machines.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas

Location: 5757 Wayne Newton Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

Phone: +1 702-261-5211

Victoria Zelefsky | Contributing Writer