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In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

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In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

I have a connecting flight in Phoenix and will have a 3 Hr and 55 Minute layover. I want to use that time the as best I can. I already have a car rented and plan on driving over to the near by Carolina's Mexican Restaurant on Mohave St. for lunch. I figure I will be there for about 1 hour. Is there any other cool things that I can just drive by an look at in Phoenix? I will have the rental car and about 1- 2 hours to kill! Suggestions?

Another question I have is about Taxies from the Airport. The reason I rented a car was that I read online that the Airport has a contract with 3 taxi companies. Per that site it stated that the minimum taxi fare to or from the airport is $20 with a $1 service charge = $21. Well for 2 ways I would be looking at $42 just to go to lunch ! I found a rental for $22 for the hours that I am there. Is is true that Taxies are that expensive?

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

My first suggestion would be to forget about these plans and don't leave the airport. I don't think a 4 hour layover is enough time to rent a car and drive around to see the city. Keep in mind that your flight might be delayed getting there, and if you're significatly delayed and can't rent a car you will still be charged for it if you have reservations in advance. Second, if you're not familiar with the area, you could get lost easily. Most of Phoenix is easy to navigate but the roads in and out of the airport are kind of screwed up. There is a lot of construction going on, mostly for the new light rail, and that will cause delays if you happen to stumble on it.

Suppose your flights are on time. You need to pick up your car, which could take ten minutes or it could take an hour depending on how busy they are. You need to drop off your car which, again, could take ten minutes but it could take longer to drop off the car and get back to the terminal. Then you have to go through security... you never know how long that will take. My last few flights out of Phoenix have all been late at night so it didn't take long at all, but if you're there during the day then it could take a while.

And as for taxis, I've always heard nightmare stories from people who tried taking taxis in Phoenix so I've never actually tried it. The rental car companies should have a way to get you around, but you might be waiting a while to be picked up.

And last... there isn't really a whole lot to do right around the airport. There is plenty to see and do in Phoenix, but not something that can be done within a limited amount of time near the airport.

Gilbert, Arizona
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2. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

The first poster is incorrect about getting charged for the rental car if you don't pick it up. That is NOT the case. If in doubt, call the rental agency and ask. They will only hold the car for an hour, after that, they will release it.

Carolinas is a GREAT place and I totally recommend it. There really isn't too much else to do to kill the 2 hours you'll have left, unless you just want to drive North of Carolinas and drive around Downtown. But lunch at Carolinas is a wonderful idea. Get the #9...2 hard tacos with rice and beans for $4.25. Get extra salsa.

They are closed on Mondays.

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3. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

Thank you both for the replys. I will just plan on going to lunch at Carolinas and getting back to the airport ASAP. As I have 4 hours I can plan on 1 HR to get to Carolinas, 1 HR to eat and then will have 2HRs to get back to the terminal. Is that realistic? Also would you all agree that I should keep the rental or cancel it and try my luck on a Taxi? I know that Carolinas is very close - maybe 5 min max from the airport. My only concern would be the ride back to the airport as I am not sure if a taxi would be passing by Carolinas after I am done eating. If not I would have to call and wait for a pick up - kind of scared about that as I am on a schedule.

Mesa, Arizona
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4. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

You may also want to consider how the traffic is going to be if its mid day during lunch rush or construction ect.... Myself personally I wouldn't risk it but to each their own. And about the rental car each company is different so I'd call and make sure on the charge. What if your flight comes into Phoenix late. you just never know. Terminal 3 has the better restraunts and shops there is a decent mexican place in terminal 4 or at least there use to be.

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5. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

I think KingDafy and Dragon Fly Lady have given you good advice.

I fly into Phoenix twice a year and would not consider leaving the airport for a three hour and 55 minute layover.

The car rental agencies have moved from the terminal to a separate building. You'll have to take a bus there and back.

My husband was there about six weeks ago. He said it took him forty minutes from landing to driving out of the airport. There was no line at the rental agency at the time.

It just doesn't sound feasible to me, but good luck either way!

Let us know how it went!

6. Re: In Phoenix for 3 HRs - Help !

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