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The hottest ticket in Vegas isn’t for what you’d expect

July 01, 2021
4 min read
The hottest ticket in Vegas isn’t for what you’d expect
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Las Vegas is back, and you'll need luck on your side to score a ride around town.

No, the hottest ticket isn't a new nightclub, show or day club. Rather, it’s something you might not even consider until you’re stuck waiting around for what feels like an eternity: getting around.

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That’s right, calling an Uber, Lyft and — dare I say it — a taxi has become one of the most challenging parts of taking a trip to The Strip.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Work has taken me to Vegas twice since mid-May, and I struggled to get a car at multiple locations on both trips.

It starts at the airport, where wait times often exceed 20 minutes for a ride-share. Though there’s usually a long line of taxis waiting at the stand, it could still take some time to make your way to the front of the queue.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

My new hack? If you didn't check bags, request an Uber just as you’re pulling into the gate to ensure the car’s waiting in the garage by the time you make it there. Otherwise, you could end up baking in the summer heat as you wait.

Related: Why renting a car in 2021 is tough

The same story was true once I made it to The Strip. Despite calling multiple Ubers and Lyfts, wait times often exceeded ten minutes. I even tried queuing in the taxi stand, but it moved just as slowly.

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In fact, the lack of readily available ground transportation almost caused me to miss my 7 a.m. flight back to New York. After my two-night stay at the brand-new Resorts World mega-resort, it was time to head home.

To learn more about the new Resorts World Las Vegas and hear what our team of three reviewers experienced, please click here.

Waiting for an Uber at Resorts World (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The first Uber I called couldn’t find the hotel’s entrance and then canceled. The next closest one was 13 minutes away. Fortunately, it showed up, but the driver was quick to point out that “this was hard to find.”

Meanwhile, the quoted wait for a taxi: 30 minutes to an hour, despite being just number three in the queue.

It appears that the issue at play is demand outstripping supply. With leisure travel quickly rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, there aren’t enough cars on the road to support the faster-than-expected recovery.

Many likely stopped driving during the height of the pandemic, and now they aren’t incentivized to hit the road again thanks to steady unemployment checks from the government and other factors. Some might've opted to exclusively deliver food via Uber Eats, and stop ferrying around drunk tourists.

Lines at the Las Vegas airport to get an Uber (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

(This isn’t just limited to ground transportation in Vegas — it applies nationwide, and includes airlines, hotels and restaurants that are struggling to ramp up staffing as well.)

When demand outstrips supply, the laws of economics say that prices rise. In Uber terms, that’s called “surge pricing” — which I’ve paid on every single ride I’ve taken in Vegas since the pandemic started.

Going forward, I might consider renting a car in Vegas, despite some of the hassles associated with the experience, like finding parking, taking the shuttle to and from the airport and filling up with gas before returning.

An empty taxi stand at Resorts World (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Other considerations that I'd recommend include having your hotel pre-arrange a car. It will cost you dearly, but less than missing your flight.

And of course, it's more important than ever to leave lots of extra time. Nobody wants to cut a vacation short but with long lines at airports, the last thing you can risk is waiting 30 minutes for a ride.

Next time, I’ll just try my luck at the casino and hope I win big. If I do, I’ll hire a limo to shuttle me around.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Why We Chose It

Build your loyalty to Delta by applying for the carrier's mid-tier card option, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card. The annual fee is quickly recouped by the card's travel perks, such as an application credit to Global Entry or TSA Precheck, annual companion certificate and so much more. Plus you can fast-track to elite status simply through card spend.

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  • Earn bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and an Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver when you hit specific spending thresholds with your card within a calendar year
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year
  • Statement credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee (up to $100)
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  • Doesn't make sense if you don't fly Delta
  • SkyMiles aren't the most valuable airline currency
  • Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights. Plus enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding and settle into your seat sooner.
  • New: Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a per-visit rate of $50 per person for Card Members and up to two guests to enter the Delta Sky Club when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees