Salt Lake City has a reputation for having one of the nation’s easiest airports for travelers—with a low rate of delayed or canceled flights. Plus, it’s a Western hub for Southwest and Delta, so your Utah explorations should get off to a timely start. Nonstop flights are available from larger U.S. cities as well as one-stop connections to Asia, Europe, and South America.
Salt Lake City is approximately 16 hours from Sydney, 12 hours from London, 3 hours from Dallas, 5 hours from New York, 4 hours from Chicago, 2 hours from Los Angeles, and an hour from Las Vegas.
If you're traveling during snow season, allow extra time for the drive to the airport, as weather conditions can slow you down. If you'll be checking skis, arrive even earlier.
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Airline and Airport Links.com. This website has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.
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Transportation Security Administration. You'll find answers here for almost every question that might come up. www.tsa.gov.
The major gateway to Utah is Salt Lake City International Airport. If you’re staying in Salt Lake City, you’ll appreciate that it’s one of the closest airports to downtown of any American city. Be advised that the construction of a new terminal could affect your experience through at least 2019.
Flights to smaller, regional, or resort-town airports generally connect through the state capital. A convenient gateway to southern Utah, particularly Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. More and more visitors to southern Utah (and the north rim of the Grand Canyon) are using St. George Municipal Airport, which has daily Delta and United flights to Salt Lake City and Denver. There are limited services, but you can rent cars here and it's less than an hour's drive to Zion National Park once you're on the road. Long layovers don't have to be only about sitting around or shopping. These days they can be about burning off vacation calories. Check out www.airportgyms.com for lists of health clubs that are in or near many U.S. and Canadian airports.
McCarran International Airport (LAS). 702/261–5211; www.mccarran.com.
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). 801/575–2400; www.slcairport.com.
St. George Municipal Airport (SGU). 4550 S. Airport Pkwy., St. George, Utah, 84770. 435/627–4080; www.flysgu.com.
You can get to and from the Salt Lake City Airport by light-rail, taxi, bus, or hotel shuttle. A light-rail line called TRAX now connects you in less than 30 minutes (and for just $2.50) from Terminal 1 to downtown Salt Lake City and the rest of the rapid-transit network. It runs approximately every 15 minutes. Taxis, though, are faster (15 minutes); the trip to downtown costs $20–$25. Shared-ride shuttle services are similarly priced to taxis, but can take longer.
Public transportation information counters are near baggage claim in all terminals, or at the front desk at hotels. If you're in downtown Salt Lake City, your best bet is to call ahead for a taxi rather than hope to flag one down.
City Cab Company. 801/363–8400.
Utah Transit Authority (UTA). 801/743–3882; 888/743–3882; www.rideuta.com.
Ute Cab Company. 801/359–7788.
Yellow Cab. 801/521–2100.
Salt Lake City has a large international airport, so you'll be able to fly here from anywhere, though you may have to connect somewhere else first. The airport is a major hub for Delta Airlines, with more than five-dozen flights daily from around the country. SkyWest, which serves regional destinations in alliance with both Delta and United, offers more than 100 flights daily. Southwest ranks third in terms of daily flights. American, jetBlue, United, and Frontier have a handful of flights each.
If you're flying in from somewhere other than the United States, you'll likely connect in Los Angeles or San Francisco if you're coming from Asia, or a major airport in the East, such as Detroit, Atlanta, or New York, if you're traveling from Europe. Occasionally in winter you may be delayed by a major snowstorm, but these generally affect the mountain areas, not the airport.
If you're heading to southern Utah, you may find it more convenient to fly into Las Vegas, which has more flights and is often a cheaper destination. Be advised that the 120-mile drive from Las Vegas to St. George passes through extremely remote country, and the Virgin River Canyon near the Arizona/Utah border can make for treacherous driving, especially at night.
More visitors to southern Utah are flying directly to St. George, which has daily flights from Denver and Salt Lake City. Provo, Cedar City, Logan, Ogden, and Moab are about the only other destinations reachable via commercial airlines; it's often just as easy (and cheaper) to drive.
American Airlines. 800/433–7300; www.aa.com.
Delta Airlines. 800/221–1212; 800/241–4141; www.delta.com.
Frontier. 800/432–1359; www.frontierairlines.com.
jetBlue. 800/538–2583; www.jetblue.com.
Southwest Airlines. 800/435–9792; www.southwest.com.
United Airlines. 800/864–8331; 800/538–2929; www.united.com.