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Making the Most Reliable and Least Expensive Trip from the NOLA Airport to Harrah’s and Back

I have done a little digging around concerning options for getting from the airport to the hotel/conference site. There is an airport shuttle that costs about $38 round trip. There are taxis, which are said to cost $33 for one or two persons or $14 per person for three or more people. There is a public bus which costs $2, sets the traveler down within 1 mile and a very short taxi ride from the hotel.

According to many posts on Trip Advisor, the airport shuttle services are best avoided. Although they say that they depart every 45 minutes, it turns out that the drivers will not depart the airport until the shuttle van is full. Instead of the advertised 45 minute ride to the Central Business District (CBD) travelers report that 90 minutes is more common when waiting for a full van is included. In addition, surly drivers, unsafe driving and poorly maintained equipment are common threads in reviews. Finally, travelers with flights departing in the early morning have been told that they will have to be ready to depart their hotels by shuttle as early as 3:45 AM if they want to catch a 6:00 AM flight.

The NOLA visitors center site promotes taxis as quite inexpensive for most trips within this rather compact city. It also provides a list of taxi companies and the areas that they serve. Apparently, most of then serve the airport.

The most intriguing option is the JET Bus, route E2, from the airport to a CBD location just under one mile from Harrah’s. (The corner of Tulane and Loyola.) At the current $2 bus fare, that makes a tidy saving when combined with a short taxi ride, or a brisk walk to the hotel at 228 Poydras Street. The bus, part of the Jefferson Parish bus system (The airport is in Jefferson Parish), takes 50 minutes. PLEASE NOTE: It stops farther away from the hotel during evening rush hour, when the CBD is clogged. Check out their site for details (http://www.jeffersontransit.org/e2airport.php). At the airport, you catch the E2 on the upper level, in the median strip close to door #7. There is a sign and a bench there.

Finally, when planning the trip from the hotel back to the airport, remember that many shoppers will be happy to arrange to share a cab all the way. In the past the IMSC has even had a taxi “match maker” for return trips to the airport. There’s no guarantee that someone will volunteer for this, but we can always ask the conference MC (Tony) to suggest a place for those wanting to arrange shared rides to meet up between sessions and exchange contact information. A few shoppers also may have rented cars at the airport and be willing to take passengers back with them. It does not hurt to ask.

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