Centrally located 3 miles east of downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport, 3400 E. Sky Harbor Blvd. (tel. 602/273-3300; www.phxskyharbor.com), has three terminals, with a free 24-hour shuttle bus offering frequent service between them.
There are two entrances to the airport. The west entrance can be accessed from either the Papago Freeway (I-10) or 24th Street, while the east entrance can be accessed from the Hohokam Expressway (Ariz. 143) or the Sky Harbor Expressway (Ariz. 153), which is an extension of 44th Street. If you're headed to downtown Phoenix, leave by way of the 24th Street exit and continue west on Washington Street. If you're headed to Scottsdale, Tempe, or Mesa, head east out of the airport and follow signs for Ariz. 202 Loop.
There is also now an alternative airport on the east side of the Valley. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA), 6033 S. Sossaman Rd., Mesa (tel. 480/988-7600; www.phxmesagateway.org), is served by Allegiant Airlines (tel. 702/505-8888; www.allegiantair.com), which has service from small cities in the Northwest and Midwest. This airport is south of Ariz. 202 Loop at the Power Road exit.
SuperShuttle (tel. 800/258-3826 or 602/244-9000; www.supershuttle.com) offers 24-hour door-to-door van service between Sky Harbor Airport and resorts, hotels, and homes throughout the Valley. Per-person shared-ride fares average $12 to $14 to the downtown and Tempe area, $16 to downtown Scottsdale, and $24 to $31 to north Scottsdale.
Taxis can be found outside all three terminals and cost only slightly more than shuttle vans. You can also call AAA/Yellow Cab (tel. 602/888-8888), Apache Taxi (tel. 480/557-7000), or Mayflower Cab (tel. 602/955-1355; www.discountcab.com). Taxis from the airport charge $5 for turning on the meter, a $1 airport surcharge, $2.10 per mile, and a minimum fare of $15. A taxi from the airport to downtown Phoenix will cost around $16; to Scottsdale, between $21 and $36.
Metro (tel. 602/253-5000; www.valleymetro.org), the valley's light-rail line, connects Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Metro runs daily every 12 to 20 minutes, between 4am and 11:50pm (until 2:40am or later on weekends). To take the light-rail, you'll first need to ride the free airport shuttle to the light-rail station at the corner of Washington and 44th streets. The ride from the light-rail station to downtown takes about 15 minutes and costs $1.75. There is no Metro service to Scottsdale, so you'll first need to go to Tempe and then transfer to a northbound Valley Metro bus.
Phoenix is connected to Los Angeles and Tucson by I-10 and to Flagstaff via I-17. If you're headed to Scottsdale, the easiest route is to take the Red Mountain Freeway (Ariz. 202) east to U.S. 101 N. This latter freeway loops all the way around the east, north, and west sides of the Valley. The Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60) leads to Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler.
There is no passenger rail service to Phoenix. Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) will sell you a ticket to Phoenix, but you'll have to take a shuttle bus from either Flagstaff or Tucson. The scheduling is so horrible on these routes that you'd have to be a total masochist to opt for Amtrak service to Phoenix. There is a closer stop to Phoenix, in the community of Maricopa, but there is no public transportation option to get you from there to Phoenix.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.