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Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

Edmonton, Canada
9 posts
1 review
Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

We will be in Sedona for a few days and then flying back to Canada at 8:30 pm on Tuesday. What do you think is a good time to leave Sedona that day? The gentleman at the car rental place said to allow well over an hour to return the car and get a shuttle to the airport and suggested arriving by 5:00pm. He also said that since it will be rush hour in Phoenix, that the drive from Sedona would be a good 4 hours. I’m all for allowing ample time but I’m just checking to see if this sounds reasonable? Since it’s our first visit, I’d really appreciate any advice.

9 replies to this topic
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
67,183 posts
250 reviews
1. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

That’s good advice. The drive takes 2 hours. The car rental return goes quickly. TSA staging at Sky Harbor can be time consuming. The general advice is to arrive at least two hours before your flight.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
199 posts
1 review
2. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

It would be very unusual for the drive to take four hours rush hour or not. The worst traffic would actually be going the other way. Leaving Sedona by 4 should be fine giving you at least 2 hours to get to your flight.

Phoenix
Destination Expert
for Phoenix, Pinetop-Lakeside
Level Contributor
3,358 posts
386 reviews
3. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

Follow the advice you were given. While on the best of days you can make the drive in two and a half hours from Sedona to Phoenix airport, but you then have to deal with our lovely rush hour traffic. If you continue on 17 when you enter Phoenix, you may be sitting in traffic. I prefer to take 17 to 101 east and then stay on 101 until you get to 51 south, get in the HOV lane and follow the signs to the airport. It's better scenery than 17 through Phoenix also. If you get there early maybe you can breeze through TSA and then look through the shops or have a drink. It's always best to be at the airport early rather than worry that you'll miss your flight.

Edmonton, Canada
9 posts
1 review
4. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

I really appreciate the advice. We’ve made it back to Phoenix in 2 hours in the past but of course joy during rush hour. Doubling the time just seemed like a lot, but I agree worth it just in case. Is it really true that it can take 1 to 1 1/2 hours to get a shuttle back to the terminal from the car rental drop off though?

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
67,183 posts
250 reviews
5. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

I’ve never heard of anything like that. The car rental center shuttles are plentiful and efficient.

Spruce Grove, Canada
Level Contributor
508 posts
153 reviews
6. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

Dropping off your rental car at the rental car complex and catching the shuttle bus back to the airport is the easiest and fastest part of your trip. The shuttle buses are numerous for terminal 4 and we have never had to wait for one to show up. I would take the advice to give ample time for the rush hour traffic and take the 101 on the north side of Phoenix off of I-17 to get you down to the 202 airport turnoff. You are then travelling west into the airport property and the rental car complex is on the far west side of the property. Just follow the rental car return lane signs and you will breeze past terminal 4 on your way to drop off the car. It may add a couple of miles on the route but it will avoid the congestion on I-17 and I-10.

By the way, the 5 inches of snow we just got this weekend should be cleared off the streets in time for your arrival back at Edmonton. Enjoy your time down there!

Edited: 04 March 2018, 22:19
Edmonton, Canada
9 posts
1 review
7. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

Thanks so much for all the help!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
8. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

I have made this drive several times (usually Fri or Sat morning). It takes under two hours to get to Sedona. The highway is excellent!

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 posts
43 reviews
9. Re: Drive time from Sedona to Phoenix airport

I read this initially as “leave Sedona by 5” and thought “that might be cutting it a little close”.

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