McCarran Airport Parking Hack
Up until the beginning of this year my family and I lived in the Southwest part of Las Vegas where it was easy to get to the airport in about 5 minutes. It was great and convenient for flights of all kinds. Unfortunately we made the decision to move to the North side of town temporarily to a rental property we own since we needed more space for the arrival of baby Elizabeth.
We much prefer the South and plan on moving back to that side of town sometime early in 2016. Besides just generally liking that area better, I honestly can’t stand being so far from the airport. It is difficult to ask my wife to drop me off and pick me up for solo travel and even when we go together it isn’t pleasant. Plus, there is that stupid cost to park and a taxi is out of the question due to distance.
Parking at McCarran
McCarran actually is one of the cheapest airports to park at if you use economy parking. At $10 a day it isn’t bad, however you either need to park at Terminal 3 and take two trains to get to the Southwest C Gates or park at Terminal 1 and take a shuttle and then a train to get to the Southwest C Gates. The process takes about 30 minutes plus it takes 30 minutes from our house to the airport with NO traffic.
Cheaper to Stay at a Hotel Than To Park at the Airport?
Since tomorrow’s flight is our first with the baby and since it departs at 6:40am (great planning on my part), we decided to spend the night at the Hyatt Place Las Vegas. The Hyatt Place here is a category 2 property, meaning it is $55 + 4,000 points if I book with points + cash. I am always looking for Hyatt stays to requalify for Diamond so this is a great solution. Why?
Well the Hyatt Place has an airport shuttle. Additionally I called them and asked if it would be ok for me to leave my car there for a few days. They have a park and fly rate, however I am booked with points + cash. Thankfully they don’t have a problem with it. So lets compare my overall costs:
- Park for 5 days at McCarran: $50
- Stay at Hyatt Place with free parking: $55 ($61.60 including tax) + 4,000 points
But it is actually better than that. I am going to use a Hyatt gift card I acquired at 25% off to pay for the room. That brings my out of pocket cost including tax to $46.20. (Less than parking at the airport!) Also, my points cost is only 3142 since I get 500 points for being Diamond and I earn points for the stay.
But wait there’s more! This will be my 10th night during Hyatt’s Sweet Dreams promotion, so it will earn 10,000 bonus points. Adding that all up, my final cash cost is $46.20 and I will gain 6,858 points! Not bad. (I do recognize that any stay would earn those points, however I don’t have any more nights planned before the end of September.)
This strategy works well for me, because I get a much needed stay to re-qualify for Diamond, we save a couple of bucks on parking, I earn thousands of points and we will probably save 30-45 minutes on what I am sure will be a stressful travel morning. Not the best hack in the world, but a worthy way to start Baby Elizabeth’s first international adventure. Mexico City here we come!