McCarran Airport Terminal 3 Gates Reopen as Passengers Increase

Posted on: July 26, 2021, 07:51h. 

Last updated on: July 26, 2021, 02:08h.

Passengers at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport are once again using Gates E8-E15 in Terminal 3. The gates on the E-Concourse had been closed since April 1, 2020, but are needed now as the number of passengers at the airport increases and more travelers head to casinos.

Seven of the 14 gates opened this weekend
A sign welcoming travelers in McCarran International Airport, pictured above. The airport is gradually reopening gates in Terminal 3. (Image: KTNV)

Seven of the 14 gates opened this weekend. Alaska Airlines is the first carrier to once again use the gates. Frontier Airlines is expected to start using the gates on Aug. 1.

Later, international flights will resume using the gates. The other seven gates on the concourse will gradually reopen.

On Saturday, 15 round trip flights used the gates, and the reopening provides some “relief for airlines,” Chris Jones, McCarran’s chief marketing officer, told He confirmed the airport was “congested” in locations at some times because of the increasing number of passengers.

In May, 3.5 million passengers used the airport, topping April’s 2.9 million total, according to the Clark County Department of Aviation. However, the May figure was still 23.3 percent below the 4.5 million passengers who used the airport in May 2019, 10 months before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the days leading up to the weekend, McCarran got the concourse ready.

“Our team has been busy cleaning, re-stocking, replacing lights, and testing equipment,” McCarran said in a tweet last week.

Reduction in Passengers

Last year, because of the drop-off in passengers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a “massive reduction” in the number of travelers coming in, as well as a “large reduction in flights,” Jones said. The airport consolidated operations in order to achieve cost savings, he adds. The airport closed 14 gates during the pandemic.

It doesn’t change any existing health and safety precautions,” Jones said. “There’s no difference.”

Vaccines have led to a return of travelers to Vegas, but health safeguards will continue in the airport.

Allow Extra Time Sunday, Monday Mornings

Jones reminds passengers that Sunday and Monday mornings can be busy times at McCarran. He encourages travelers to allow for two extra hours. Terminal 1 parking garage can fill up during these times, and it is advisable to allow extra time if using the parking venue, Jones said.

McCarran could be renamed to honor former US Sen. Harry Reid (D) by September, a Clark County Commissioner said. Commissioner Tick Segerblom, a former state legislator who proposed the name change, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal it could happen within months.

The airport is at the southeast end of the Las Vegas Strip, near the Tropicana, MGM Grand, and other major hotel casinos. The airport is in Clark County, but outside Las Vegas city limits.