Updated: May 21, 2015
Reno-Tahoe International Airport - RNO:Whenever I travel from Portland or the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe I fly into Reno airport. I would have to say that flying into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is a breeze. From San Jose or San Francisco flights are about 1 hour long and the same goes for those from Portland, Oregon. RNO airport is small, easy to get around, and rarely has delays. There is gaming in the airport - slot machines - since it's located in Nevada. The airport is roughly 1 hours drive to south Lake Tahoe and even closer to the resorts on the north side of the lake. Downtown Reno is only a few minutes drive from the airport itself. Many of the west coast cities offer direct flights into Reno which makes it very convenient. The Reno airport only has 2 concourses that are accessible via the main terminal. Flights are relatively cheap and hotel rooms are even cheaper as much of the travel industry is subsidized with the gambling. The airport is located just on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains (see maps below). RNO is clean, well thought out, and a pleasure to travel into and out of. The weather can be extremely hot in the summer and often very cold in the winter months. Check the forecast before flying into to Reno.
Directions to RNO (Reno-Tahoe Airport):Driving to RNO is rather simple, depending on which direction you are coming from. A good map is shown below with Reno International Airport located near route 395. From downtown Reno you are looking at 10 to 15 minute drive to the airport. I recently did the drive from South Lake Tahoe (Stateline) and it took about 1 hour door to door.
Take Plumb Lane from the freeway or get on Villanova Drive and then turn onto Terminal Way. The airport is rather small which makes it easy to navigate around. You can print out full driving directions to RNO on the main website for the airport HERE. Reno-Tahoe airport is so close to the California border that many people use it to fly into and then drive over to Northstar and other Lake Tahoe ski resorts. From Portland (PDX), it is a quick 1 hour flight for my family and I. For more Reno airport maps go here.
RNO Terminals - Airlines Served:Once inside the airport, there is 1 main terminals in RNO with 2 concourses (B and C). The RNO terminal map can be found in a PDF format online HERE. The file shows you where you can find ATMS, service counters, elevators, mail drops, restrooms, security, baggage claim, and waiting areas. The seating areas near the gates are ample and provide plenty of seats for all passengers (unlike those in smaller airports like San Jose, CA or Burbank). There are daily departures going to Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Portland, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, and many more cities. We have tried to give you gate and terminal information for each airline below:
Concourse C - Alaska/Horizon Airlines, Allegiant Air, American, United Airlines, US Airways
Concourse B - Southwest Airlines, Delta/Delta Connection
Parking - Short Term vs Long Term:Reno airport parking is about as simple as it gets compared to larger airports. Reno airport parking rates are also very reasonable when you compare them to other airports. The main parking structure is right across from the terminal which is already better than other places I've flown into or out of. The structure is 3 levels with the first level dedicated to short term parking and the other 2 levels for long-term parking. Short term parking fees are $1 for the first 30 minutes with a maximum of $24/day. The long term parking fees on the 2nd and 3rd levels are a max of $14/day. The surface lot is right next door and available for long term parking at just $10/day. All lots are open 24 hours a day and well-lit. They take cash, VISA, AMEX, Mastercard, and Discover. For a complete map of the parking at PDX, go HERE. The overhead map will show you where each lot is located along with fees.
Airport Shuttles and Ground Transportation for RNO:When you fly into an airport like Reno-Tahoe International, you immediately get the feeling that the casinos can't wait to get your business. There are complimentary hotel shuttles offered from about 5AM to Midnight every day from hotels like Atlantis, Circus Circus, Grand Sierra, JA Nugget, Peppermill, Harrah's, Sand's Regency, Eldorado, and Silver Legacy. You can read up on the shuttle services offered at RNO HERE. The Reno Airport shuttle to Lake Tahoe is another option if you are traveling beyond the city of Reno. The North Lake Tahoe Express and South Tahoe Express are the best choice. For $75 you get a roundtrip ticket on the North Lake Tahoe Express and 2 passengers is an even better deal at only $80 (yes, that's only $5 for the 2nd passenger). They will take you to Incline Village, Squaw Valley, Northstar, Alpine Meadows and several other stops on the north side of the Lake. The South Tahoe Express.com is just as convenient and gets you to MontBleu, Harrah's, Embassy, Harvey's, Horison, or Lakeside. Fares are roughly $47 round trip for an adult and $25 for a kid. Taxis and limousines are also available is you want. A taxi can take you from the airport to downtown Reno in about 10 minutes.
RENTAL CARS - I just returned from a recent trip (September 2009) into Reno and the Lake Tahoe area and I rented a car through Enterprise. The easy part of renting a car out of the Reno-Tahoe airport is that the car rentals are literally just outside the door of the main terminal. Cross the road and you are in the parking structure that houses the rental cars. You don't have to hassle with taking a shuttle to an off-site facility - that's why I like renting here. Choose from Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. The rental car rates were about $30/day for me, but I have seen them much cheaper -depending on the time of year. Advantage and Thrifty are off-site but the rest are across from Baggage Claim.
Hotels near RNO (Reno, Nevada):There are quite a few quality hotels to choose from near or around the Reno International Airport. We have listed the top 5 below with names, addresses, phone numbers, and website addresses for your convenience. Rooms are priced from $60-$150 night.
- Hyatt Place Reno-Tahoe Airport - 1790 East Plumb Lane, Reno, NV, Phone # (775) 826-2500, You can find them online HERE
- Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Center - 1981 Terminal Way, Reno, NV, Phone # (775) 348-6370, Website located HERE
- Atlantis Casino Hotel - 3800 S. Virginia St. Reno, NV 89502, Phone # 800-723-6500, Website located HERE
- Grand Sierra Resort and Casino - 2500 East 2nd Street, Reno, NV, Phone # (775) 789-2000, Website located HERE
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Reno - 2375 Market Street, Reno, NV, Phone # (877) 863-4780, Website located HERE