Randall H. Walker, who runs McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, gives visitors a few travel tips.
Randall H. Walker is the director of aviation for Clark County, Nev., which means he runs McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas. Walker has been on a tear to make McCarran the country's most high-tech airport, installing sophisticated baggage-tracking systems and free wireless Internet access. We asked him how to survive a trip through the country's sixth-busiest airport.
Q How many travelers pass through McCarran each year?
A About 41.5 million.
Q When is it busiest?
A From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. A daytime arrival is less stressful.
Q You brought in a high-tech baggage system. How does it help travelers?
A The radio tag system screens and routes the bags to the airlines automatically. The old bar code system had an 18 to 20 per-cent error rate. The new one is more than 99 percent accurate.
Q How can passengers help speed up the security screening process?
A Be ready. Take off your shoes and outerwear. Remove change and money clips; also anklet chains and belts.
Q What are you doing to help?
A We have people who work the lines to remind passengers what they should do. We have fun announcements on TV monitors to show them, using local entertainers.
Q Have a favorite restaurant at the airport?
A Ruby's, a '50s burger joint at the D gates.
Q The cheapest way to get to the Strip?
A A shuttle bus at about $5 per person.
Q And the best way?
A A limo. It's about $40 for an hour, split between up to six people. You can roll into town like a high roller, even if you're not one.
Q Do the slot machines on the Strip give better odds than those at McCarran?
A I doubt it.
Photography courtesy of Clark County Department of Aviation
This article was first published in July 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.