How Much Last-Minute Las Vegas Travel Really Costs

Estimated read time 3 min read

Your best friend’s wedding is at 2 p.m. this afternoon at the MGM Grand Chapel and your 8 a.m. flight just got canceled for mechanical difficulties. Assuming the next available flight offered by the airline won’t arrive on time, how would you navigate the 269 miles from LA to Las Vegas at the last minute?

Not a screen you want to see the day of your best friend’s wedding. Why didn’t you leave the night before like your mother warned you to? (Image:

This isn’t the kind of problem anyone bothers trying to solve before it actually happens to them. But why wait? We posed the problem to a variety of websites, some of whose answers may surprise you.

Obviously, the cost and availabilities will vary wildly depending on when you search.

We randomly decided that our canceled morning flight was to take off Monday, May 8, from Los Angeles, the most popular Las Vegas departure city. For the sake of pricing only, we figured we’d return the following morning. We also figured it would take at least an hour to regroup and be ready for another means of travel, so 9 a.m. was our targeted departure time.

Booking at 8:30 a.m., only United had a same-morning flight available. Flight 1316 had a seat available leaving at 11:23 a.m., and arriving at 12:45 p.m., for $263 nonstop. The next available flight arriving in Vegas on time was a noon departure on Southwest that would arrive at 1:10 p.m. — just barely in time to make the ceremony– for $244.

Highway Robbery?

An Uber to Vegas at 9 a.m., getting in at approximately 12:30 p.m., would cost $353, according to, while a Lyft would run $368. A taxi would cost around $750. And don’t forget to tip extra for a trip like that, because it won’t be easy for your driver to find a fare back.

These are the estimated prices for a car or taxi from LA to Vegas on a random Monday morning. (Image: RideGuru)

Expedia offered the best deal for renting a car: a Toyota Corolla or similar mid-size car for $17 per day ($32 total) through Fox Rent a Car. Priceline seemed to offer an even better deal, with a Volkswagen Jetta or similar standard-size car for $5 per day ($21 total) through either Fox, Economy, or Ace.

The caveat in all these offers is that their “unlimited mileage” can only be claimed by nonlocal renters. This means that the 450 miles, plus whatever driving is done in Vegas, would cost an Angeleno a couple of hundred dollars more than the quoted price upon the car’s return.

No other car rental companies offered same-day cars.

Would any of these options even be available on a weekend, when almost all weddings occur, transportation to Vegas is much more in demand, and traffic could double the drive time? Keep this survey open. We’ll check back on Friday morning and update you with what we find.

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