Getting Around Las Vegas by App

Las Vegas travelOne of the reasons we selected the JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Summerlin, Nevada, for the BAM Conference was location. The resort is less than half an hour from everything, but feels far removed from the neon and glitz of the Strip. We envision BAM as a retreat, where we can spend time together in a luxurious and relaxed setting.

If you are traveling to and from the airport, or down to the Strip for a Saturday night on the town, here’s how you can get around without a rental car or a cab. All you need is your smart phone.

Using LYFT

Lyft is a recent addition to Las Vegas and seems to have several current deals. By following the @LasVegasLyft Twitter account, I saw that the first ride in Las Vegas is free with the code SINCITY.

Also, after you download the Lyft app for the first time, go to Lyft.com, enter the cell phone associated with your Lyft account and get $50 in credits. I used a code like this when I was in Las Vegas this January. It worked great, and most of my rides were free! Note the credits are applied with a maximum of $10 a ride.

You can pay for Lyft through a credit card or PayPal account you register on the app.

Lyft has handicapped-accessible services you can request through Settings/Services on the app.

You can tip through the Lyft app, but it is optional. The driver should be properly compensated through the cost of your fare. I tip anyway.

You rate the driver after the trip. Always give 5 stars, unless there is a problem. I thank the driver for the ride and say, “Five stars!” That’s as important to them as a tip.

Want more info? Here’s a Lyft etiquette guide.

Using UBER

Uber is also new to Las Vegas. It has the same pick-up spots as Lyft. On my recent trip to Las Vegas, Lyft and Uber vehicles are not allowed to pick up in the cab/valet area. At the Paris, the waiting zone was on the other side of the hotel. At the Wynn, it was off a side entrance near the parking garages. The app will inform you of the nearest pick-up spot.

Check out Uber.com for a fare estimate, and to see the different car options. UberX cars have the lowest rates and have always been fine when I’ve used them. UberXL is the vehicle to choose for trips with more than three or four people. These are usually SUVs. I’ve never used the most expensive option, UberSelect, but it sounds like it’s a luxury car.

If you have questions about how to Uber, go to the app dropdown menu and click on Help/How To Use Uber for an FAQ.

Splitting a fare: Uber allows you to split the fare between riders through the app. It’s an option you select during your ride. Automatic fare splitting can’t be used after the ride, and the other riders must have an Uber account too.

Tipping: Uber says there is no need to tip your driver. They are compensated through your fare. I tip anyway and let them know I’m giving them a five-star rating.

Here’s an Uber etiquette guide.

Follow @Uber_NV on Twitter for current discount codes.

IMPORTANT TIP FOR ANY CAR SERVICE

Never get into a Lyft or Uber you didn’t summon through the app. Never get into a car that stops and solicits you from the street or at the airport. Using the app protects both you and the driver.

Whenever you set up a ride you are sent the driver’s name, a photo, and the license plate number and make of vehicle. Also, the app protects your credit card info, and allows feedback in case of a problem.

I’ve used Uber and Lyft dozens of times all over the country. I’ve never had a problem when I go through the app.

The good thing about Lyft and Uber in Las Vegas is that many of the drivers are moonlighting chauffeurs with decades of driving experience in the city.

A NOTE ABOUT SURGE PRICING

When there is a lot of demand for rides, the ride services implement surge pricing. It’s an increase in the cost of a ride by a multiple (x 1.5 the regular fare, 2.8 times the regular fare…), and is meant to encourage more of the services’ drivers to get out on the road.

The app and the driver should inform you of the increase and tell you what the increase is. Expect it on holidays and at rush hour. If it’s too much for you, you might be better off getting a cab at the hotel cab stand, if you have the time to wait. You can’t hail a cab on the street in Las Vegas and have to go through hotel cab stands. Those lines can get long at check out times, and during the evenings when everyone is trying to get to dinner or a show. Balance your need for fast service against your budget.

Using SUPERSHUTTLE to and from the airport

SuperShuttle is a good way to get back and forth to the hotel from the airport. I’ve also used it as a ride from my house to the airport to save on expensive airport parking. If you download the app, use code SSAPP for a ten percent discount.

SuperShuttle has wheelchair accessible vans, and is a good choice if you are traveling in a group, or arranging for shared rides with people arriving at the airport about the same time.

A trip from the Las Vegas airport to the JW Marriott will cost you $25 for a shared ride (the van may make one or more other stops along the way) or $70 for a non-stop trip. You can tip through the app, but I prefer to tip in cash at the end of the trip.

Download Lyft, Uber, and SuperShuttle before your upcoming trip to note how each works for pickup, to add your personal information, and to pre-load any discount codes. If you share your referral code with a friend, you can also both get additional credits. I feel weird posting my own referral codes, but it should also provide you with a credit for your first ride.

Try my Lyft code: ANNE638347

Try my Uber code: annep81

See you in Las Vegas!


Comments

  1. Ligeia says:

    This is so ridiculously helpful, thank you! I had Uber, but just downloaded Lyft and will try to use your code.

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