When you’re flying into Las Vegas, you can always tell the tourists from the locals on the plane.
The tourists are the ones who are looking out the windows and identifying out loud the resorts along the Strip as they pass over them on the southbound approach to Runways 19L and 19R.
And, they’re the ones who pay almost no attention to where they’re supposed to go once they get off the plane.
Review-Journal mixed martial arts scribe Adam Hill tells the story of getting off a Frontier Airlines flight and making his way to the Terminal 3 baggage claim area only to spot some of his fellow passengers heading for Terminal 1.
“No, don’t go that way,” he yelled.
Too late. Passengers who were “Vegas struck” went to Terminal 1, only to find that their bags were at Terminal 3 and there was no way to retrace their steps because they already had left the “sterile area,” a somewhat creepy airport term referring to the area behind the security checkpoints.
So who’s responsible for helping these present-day “Wrong Way” Corrigans?
“This has been a challenge since Terminal 3 opened, and while we have worked to address this issue and will continue to do so, it seems that we are always going to have a percentage of passengers who end up in the wrong place,” McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews said.
“Every day, we see passengers who follow the crowd without paying attention to the signage. And there is certainly signage.”
There are two trams shuttling passengers from the D gates where seven domestic air carriers arrive. And, some domestic airlines arrive in the E gates, where passengers don’t require a tram ride at all.
McCarran recently branded the two trams as the Red Line and the Blue Line (which, incidentally, doesn’t mean that you board the Red Line if you’re a Republican and the Blue Line if you’re a Democrat). If you arrive on Frontier, Hawaiian, Sun Country or United, find the Red Line to pick up your bags at Terminal 3 carousels. It’s somewhat confusing because it didn’t used to be that way, and travelers who are on autopilot will take the Blue Line to Terminal 1 because that’s the way they’ve always done it.
And then, of course, there are all the signs pointing you in the right direction. They’re on the jet bridge, in the terminal on the way to the escalators on the way to the tram, on a large LG-branded display at the bottom of the escalators in the rotunda, at the tram station and even on the glass doors when boarding the tram.
Some airlines even make an announcement upon arrival about which tram to take. Pay attention!
If you’re one of the unfortunates that went the wrong way, don’t despair. You can get to the other terminal by taking the interterminal shuttle that runs on a regular loop between T1 and T3 every 12-15 minutes. The bus stops are located at Zero Level at both terminals. For those who blew it, you should be able to remember “Zero.”
Another good piece of advice: Know before you go. McCarran’s website has an interactive page that explains exactly where you need to go by airline.
When flying into an unfamiliar airport, seasoned travelers always take a look at the airport’s website to get information on how to get around once on the ground.
If all else fails, look for and listen to locals. Like Hill, they usually know their way around.
Warrior reader Debbie wants to know when she can go 80 mph on Interstate 15:
“I cannot find anything about the implementation of Senate Bill 2. It was signed into law Oct. 1, 2015. Will the Nevada Department of Transportation be changing the signs that are currently 75 mph to 80? Have I misunderstood the meaning of the bill?”
Senate Bill 2 was approved last spring by the Legislature, Ms. Andretti … er, Debbie.
The Transportation Department’s Tony Illia clears up the confusion.
“Senate Bill 2 authorizes the department to raise the speed limit up to 80 mph in certain rural areas,” Illia said.
“However, there are no pending plans for implementing any of those increases on I-15. As it stands, Interstate 80 would be the only future candidate where an increased speed limit might be applied.”
Get ready for more pain, but only this time, it isn’t just one trade show that will slow you down.
It’s going to be pretty busy around the Las Vegas Convention Center, where 60,000 will be at the National Association of Home Builders show and 33,000 for the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, both running Tuesday through Thursday.
Surfaces 2016, a flooring show, will bring 25,000 to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday through Friday.
The Las Vegas Market, a furniture exposition, will bring 50,000 to downtown’s World Market Center next Sunday through Jan. 26.
And, 25,000 are expected at the Hard Rock Wednesday through Saturday for the Adult Entertainment Expo.
Add it all up, and it means 193,000 people on our streets in the week ahead.
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