Long Haul Taxi Scam in Las Vegas

If you have taken a taxi cab in Las Vegas you no doubt have heard the phrase long haul taxi scam. Or maybe you have heard people mention getting long hauled. The scam may also be referred to as being “tunneled”. The long haul taxi scam in Las Vegas entails a cab driver taking you from the airport or to the airport on a longer route than normal in order to charge you more for your ride. If you have prepaid for a limo or shuttle service the long haul does not apply to you.

The Long Haul Route

There are two routes out of McCarran International Airport. Swenson St which turns in Paradise runs somewhat parallel to the strip. You can cross over to the strip via streets like Tropicana. The Tunnels which go under the runways to the south connect to Highway 215. This is why being scammed is sometimes referred to as being tunneled. This route is often twice as long resulting in a larger fare. Take the route below to the Bellagio from Google Maps. The route up Swenson is 3.2 miles while the tunnel route is 7.7 miles.

If you go through the tunnel or end up on a highway south of the airport you are no doubt being long hauled. A recent taxi fair estimator website figures the above ride just over $20. If your ride ends up being much more and traffic is normal you could be a victim of long hauling.

long haul taxi route las vegas

When the tunnel route is justified

It is important to note that the “tunnel ” can possibly be a legitimate route depending on where you are staying. If you are staying at any of the southern hotels such as the Silverton then the route is preferred. This does not hold true for Mandalay Bay or the Luxor. The same can be said about staying downtown in the Fremont St area. If you are driving downtown you would likely want to take the highway and avoid the strip at all costs.

Depending on the time of day and traffic congestion you may want the tunnel. For example, if you are staying on the north part of the strip like The Mirage or Treasure Island. We have been caught in a couple of traffic snarls heading to Treasure Island / The Mirage. These could have been avoided going the highway route.

How to not get tunnelled

Act like you are a season veteran. Use Google Maps like we did above and plot your route out. Familiarize yourself with street names and the possible routes to the hotel. When you get in your taxi at the airport tell them that you want to take Swenson to Tropicana etc. If you tell the cab driver the  route  you want to go they must follow it.

What to do if you are a long haul victim

If you feel you have been long hauled you have options. Some travelers report that they have confronted the cab driver and told them flat out that they are not paying. Calling their bluff. I witnessed this at The Mirage one morning as we were heading back to the airport. A couple was long hauled first thing in the morning and had the bell employees help them confront the driver.

You can take a less confrontation route by filing an official complaint. You would do this by contacting the Nevada Taxi Authority at 702.888.4888. or by filing out an online form at “Long Hauling Suspicion Form,

Mirage – Treasure Island Tram Closed for Repairs

The handy tram that links The Mirage and Treasure Island is officially closed for repairs. A few people on social media were reporting that the station at The Mirage was boarded up but it wasn’t clear how long it was down for. When we stayed at T.I. last May it seemed to be down a few times but mostly later at night.

The Yelp Page states that: “Mirage-Treasure Island Tram is temporarily closed. Scheduled to reopen on October 8, 2018.”  And we came across a post on a site where a person had called and confirmed the time frame. Hopefully it’s either early or on schedule as it’s gem for getting back and forth between the two properties and across to properties like The Wynn.

When it was down we walked. We walked past the tram area and in between the parking garages and across the road to T.I. There were lots of other people doing the same walk, otherwise at night I think I would have opted for heading out to the strip.

 

treasure island tram photo
Photo by kennejima

Current Uber and Lyft Pick Up and Drop off Locations in Las Vegas

Uber and Lyft Pick Up Locations

lyft photo
Photo by stockcatalog

My first ride share mistake in Vegas was calling a Lyft to Aria to the wrong door and having to high tail through the casino. The hotels are very specific on where you can get picked up and dropped of. They will tell you if you are in a resort and not sure where to to find go but have a look at this list if you are into pre-planning.

Get Free Rides Using Our Codes (don’t sign up until you are in Vegas as bonus are time sensitive):

Uber use code kevinw11058ue

Lyft use code KEVIN76225

MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LAS VEGAS
Terminal 1 Pick-up point:
After you collect your baggage or take the train towards baggage claim. Go ahead and request a ride with Uber or Lyft. The pick up spot is in the Parking Garage, on Level 2M of McCarran International Airport Las Vegas to get a pick-up from their driver. Please follow the Rideshare signs.

Terminal 3 Pick-up point:

After you collect your baggage or take the train towards baggage claim. Go ahead and request a ride with Uber or Lyft. The pick up spot to catch your ride is the Parking Garage on the valet level of McCarran International Airport. Please follow the Rideshare signs.

ARIA
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the ARIA Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver. It is not allowed to get a pick-up from the main entrance.

BALLY’S
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the side of the Bally’s Hotel closest to Flamingo Road where the Tour Bus Pick-up Area is to get a pick-up from their driver. It is not allowed to get a pick-up from the main entrance.

BELLAGIO
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to South Tour Lobby, which is at the right side of the main entrance of the Bellagio Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

CAESARS PALACE
This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft which is directly across from the main entrance on the other side of their fountain.

CIRCUS CIRCUS
This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft at their Main Entrance.

COSMOPOLITAN This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft at their Main Entrance.

CROMWELL Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the side entrance, then past the roundabout at the Flamingo hotel entrance to get a pick-up from their driver (there is a sign for the pick-up spot).

Elara
Pickup is by the valet. Just walk a bit west past it and turn right for the pick up area.

ENCORE Customers using Uber or Lyft can go to the main entrance of the Encore Hotel, the main entrance of the Encore Tower Suites or the Wynn self-parking garage on floor one (for Encore Beach Club).

EXCALIBUR
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to Tower 1 Drive at the corner of the hotel, past the main entrance toward self parking.

FLAMINGO
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Flamingo Hotel, past the roundabout to get a pick-up from their driver.

Hard Rock Hotel
Pick-up is in the Paradise Tower parking garage (Rehab entrance).

HARRAH’S
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north side entrance and then go to the parking garage, just before the valet of the Harrah’s Hotel.

THE LINQ
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the Bus and Tour Lobby of the LINQ Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

LUXOR
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Luxor Hotel at the right side to get a pick-up from their driver.

MANDALAY BAY
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the lower level at guest pickup of the Mandalay Bay Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

MGM GRAND
Customers using Uber or Lyft must follow the signs near the main entrance to the pick up spot in the garage of the MGM Grand Hotel.

THE MIRAGE
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance close to the valet at The Mirage Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

MONTE CARLO
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go pas the main entrance of the Monte Carlo Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

NEW YORK NEW YORK
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to past the main entrance of the New York New York Hotel at the right side.

PALAZZO
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north end, in front of the shuttle area of the Palazzo Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

PARIS
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Paris Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

PLANET HOLLYWOOD
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the hotel lobby, then go outside and walk left to the Tour Bus Pick-up at the Planet Hollywood Hotel.

SLS
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the SLS Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

STRATOSPHERE
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the back entrance of the Stratosphere Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

TREASURE ISLAND
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Treasure Island Hotel and then go to Siren’s Cove Boulevard across the street.

TROPICANA
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Tropicana Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

THE VENETIAN
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the 3rd level valet of the The Venetian Hotel parking garage to get a pick-up from their driver.

VDARA
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Vdara Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

WYNN
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the South Entrance or Tower Suites of the Wynn Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Thanks for LasVegasTravelWizards.com and @LVTWs for comping this big list. We will be editing it as we hear of changes to pick up and drop off spots. If you come across a change please leave a comment for us to have a look.

The Free Tram System in Las Vegas

If you have been to Las Vegas you know one thing, it’s massive and walking between properties can be a long process. Getting around Las Vegas free and cheaply is not that hard if you know what you are doing. Besides the public bus or monorail there is a loose system of free trams that can easily take you from property to property.

Free Las Vegas Tram System

The Free Tram System in Las Vegas is located on the West Side of the The Strip. The service is totally free to all visitors and is split into three parts so you can’t get from one end of The Strip to the other without some walking but you can save some miles on your feet by using it.

To get from end to end  you have to walk around Caesars Palace to get from The Mirage to The Bellagio. You have to walk around New York New York to connect from The Monte Carlo to The Excalibur.

Treasure Island – The Mirage

Update:  This Tram is Currently Down for Maintenance and is slated not to open again until October, 2018.

Hours:  Listed as 7:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m. but there are reports of it not starting until 9:00 am.

Location: This tram leaves from the main check in at The Mirage and takes you to the second level of Treasure Island.

Tips: It leaves every 10 minutes or so. We have never had to wait for very long to catch a ride and it is a fair size so it is never that packed. It is easy to get to from both properties and is perfect to get to the Wynn or Fashion Outlet Malls.

Mandalay Bay-Luxor-Excalibur

Hours:  Listed as 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m

Location: Various locations that are well marked with elevators or stairs to take you the platforms. They run at the front of the properties so they are closer to The Strip.

Tips: This loop is a little wonky. It goes from Mandalay Bay to The Luxor and Excalibur and back again. There is an Express that goes straight from the Excalibur to Mandalay Bay and this one catches people like myself off-guard. It’s a great way to get down to Mandalay Bay and see the south end of The Strip.

free tram las vegas

Aria Bellagio free tram

Taken in 2015 from the front of the Aria and looking down from our Strip View Room on the 53rd floor.

Bellagio – CityCenter/Aria – Monte Carlo Tram

Hours:  Listed as 8am – 4am

Location: This one sits at the back of the hotels and can be a bit of a walk to get there. The Bellagio station is located at the back near the Spa Tower and has an escalator to take you to the station. The stop at Crystals is in the mall and it lets you out with a short walk down to the mall. The final stop is The Monte Carlo and is perfect to get to Aria as well. You can access both The Monte Carlo, The Park, T-Mobile and Aria from this stop.

Tips:  People will argue about the walk it entails to get from the Bellagio and out to The Strip and they probably aren’t wrong. It’s a hike but its also a fast way to get to a Vegas Knights game as it lets you off right The Park/Monte Carlo area. We used this free tram non-stop when we stayed at The Aria.

Again it’s perfect to get down to a Vegas Golden Knights game.

Here is a sort of outdated map that has been floating around the net for quite awhile. The west side of the strip where the free tram is located is completely up to date. The east side has changed a lot. The Quad is the LINQ and past the Convention Center you have The Westgate and SLS. The east side is serviced by The Monorail and is not free.  We have never used it before so I can’t comment too much on it but it appears to be far away from the strip.

Las Vegas Tram system