Do not, I repeat, do not let yourself get "long hauled" --
ripped off on the cab ride from the airport to the Strip.
Long hauling is when a cabbie takes you on a longer route to your hotel instead of the shortest and most direct route. Unfortunately there are a number of unethical cab drivers in this city who will take on you a ride to bump up the fare, which of course increases their total tip at the end of the ride. The long hauling issue has become so bad from the airport, that the LV Taxi Authority is now considering just going on a flat rate charge from the airport to the Strip hotels. Until that happens, then you need to be an informed consumer about taking a cab ride from the airport. As proof of how bad long hauling is in LV, here's a story from the LV Sun about a Nevada Taxicab Authority Administrator who got long hauled:
Before you do anything, go on Google maps and find Las Vegas, NV. Find McCarran Intl. Airport. Then find the hotel you are staying at. Guess what? The airport is right next to the LV Strip. 50% of the Strip hotels are literally within 3 miles of the airport. The rest are under 5 miles. Unlike some airports in the United States, the airport in LV is right in the middle of the city. Here a link to Google maps.
So, you just got off the plane, you have collected your bags and you are ready to get to your hotel. You get in line and wait to get a cab -- there are literally hundreds of cabs lined up at the airport waiting to take visitors to the Strip. The problem is that a large percentage of the cab drivers waiting to pick up a fare are like sharks and you are like a baby seal who has just entered the water for the first time. You are "fresh meat" just waiting to get long hauled. Do not, I repeat, do not, let yourself be a victim and get long hauled by these predators. When you tell the cabbie your hotel do not get into a discussion with him/her about taking the route with the least amount of traffic. If you agree to go on the route with the least amount of traffic you will get long hauled.
Here's what you say to the cabbie to avoid any confusion: "Hi, I am staying at _______________ hotel. Do not take me there using the airport tunnel or the freeway. Exit the airport on Swenson and take me to my hotel using surface streets." Now, what cabbies do is try and persuade the customer that taking Swenson will "take longer" and "cost more" because of traffic and signals. This is complete nonsense. Do not fall for it.
It is critical that you know the location of your hotel in relation to the airport once you are on Swenson. Just because the cabbie has followed your directions does not mean they still can't drive you around and jack the fare up. There are 5 major streets that connect to all the hotels on the Strip. These streets are as follows:
Tropicana, Harmon, Flamingo, Sands, and Desert Inn. Taking Swenson from the airport to every hotel on or near the Strip connects with these 5 streets. However, it is not that simple. Keep reading.
If your hotel is on/near Tropicana or Harmon then the route is very simple from the airport: Exit the airport on to Swenson, take Swenson to Tropicana or Harmon, make a left, take Tropicana or Harmon to your hotel. Done.
If your hotel is on/near Flamingo, Sands, or Desert Inn then it slightly more complicated. Exit the airport on to Swenson, take Swenson to Harmon. The driver should take a left on Harmon and then a quick right on to Paradise. Paradise then connects with those three streets. Make a left on Paradise and you will get to your hotel. You want the driver to be on Paradise, not Swenson! If the cabbie continues on Swenson past Harmon, you are getting long hauled. After Harmon, Swenson becomes a longer route and more out of the way to get those three streets. To see what I am talking about, you have to look on a map.