As the fifth busiest airport in the nation, it’s good to know some quick tips to get the most out of a visit to McCarran International Airport. The list of services available at McCarran range from fun to functional and everything in between.
Before You Leave
Upon catching a flight out of McCarran, check the flight status online or by calling the airport. McCarran’s site includes a Flight Watch feature, where a flight can be tracked online. The feature is updated every five minutes.
The Las Vegas Sun has a similar feature that calculates the frequency of 15 minutes or longer flight delay from specific carriers to and from the airport. There is also a feature that estimates the wait time for security checkpoints according to the gate, day of the week and time of departure.
Yet another way to save time at the airport is to take advantage of their SpeedCheck and SpeedCheck Advance services. Passengers flying on U.S. Airways and Delta can use SpeedCheck to check into their flight only but those also checking bags on Frontier, Southwest, or United can use SpeedCheck Advance.
If picking someone up at the airport, check the flight number, time of arrival and airline and use the Flight Watch feature to make sure the flight is on time. There are several options for parking at the airport too, passenger pick-up being the easiest option, which is a curb-side pick-up area. There is also short-term, long-term and valet parking, though check the Web site for updates, as the construction of Terminal 3 that will not be done until 2012 could cause closings.
Navigating the Airport
There are currently two terminals to choose from at McCarran. Terminal 2 is home to international flights. Terminal 1 has four gates: A, B, C and D, which are all connected by an underground tram. Gate A is where U.S. Airways flights board, while Gate B has more U.S. Airways flights and Southwest, Gate C has more Southwest flights and Gate D is where to find AirTran, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Midwest, Northwest, Spirit, Sun Country, Ted, United, United Express and Virgin America.
An underground tram connects all of these gates, but if a flight is arriving or leaving from Gates C 23-27, it would be wise to walk instead because it’s quicked than taking the tram, according to a blog post from 10News.com. McCarran’s Web site includes an airport guide informing passengers where restrooms, restaurants, pay phones and smoking areas can be found at each gate.
If the plane is delayed there are several ways to waste time in McCarran. The airport offers over 1,000 slot machines throughout Terminals 1 and 2. There is also a fitness center and aviation museum located at the Esplanade (second level of Terminal 1) and an aviation themed unsupervised kids play area at Gate D.
McCarran also has special needs features like companion restroom care, special phones for the hearing impaired, visual paging and wheelchairs available free of charge. To rent a wheelchair, call 702-261-5475 or dial 5475 from any white courtesy phone inside the airport. Gate C passengers should call 702-261-6376 or dial 6376. The airport advises that passengers allow 30-45 minutes for assistance arrival if prior phone arrangements have not been made.
Any other information about the airport can be found at one of their several Traveler Assistance locations that are open from 5:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. daily. There are also Roving Visitor Information and Visitor Assistance (VIVA) volunteers available throughout the airport, they are dressed in bright yellow shirts.