Sharon K. Tune, December 2003
We hope that all those who are planning to attend the annual meeting-now just a few weeks away-have already made their travel and accommodation arrangements. Here are a few hints and reminders to help readers who are still in the process of planning or those who wish to change their previous arrangements.
Detailed instructions on how to make, modify or cancel a reservation at the meeting hotels were given in the September Perspectives and the annual meeting Program; the latest information can also be obtained from the AHA's Web site. The cutoff date for the AHA's official block is December 9. Between December 10 and December 14 reservations are transmitted to the hotels, therefore, no changes or cancellations are allowed during this period. Starting December 15, any changes, cancellations, or new reservations should be made directly with the hotels. Note also that hotels may charge a penalty for early checkout. After December 9, remaining inventory in the block will be released. However, all hotels will continue to accept reservations at convention rates on a space-available basis. If all hotels sell out, additional housing options will be posted on the AHA's Web site. Remember that the meeting rates are available beginning January 5.
Association Travel Concepts (ATC), the official travel agency for the AHA's 118th annual meeting, will make special airfares, train fares, and car rental rates available to attendees. To take advantage of rates and special benefits, check for additional information on the AHA's web site or call ATC at 800-458-9383. ATC is available for reservations from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Discounts apply for travel Monday, January 5 through Wednesday, January 14, 2004.
From Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): Taxicabs are available at the exits of each terminal with dispatchers to assist passengers. Separate lines form for destinations within Virginia and to the District, so passengers should check with the dispatcher for the correct queue. A ride from the airport to the hotels takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on time of day and traffic, and costs from $9 to $12. The SuperShuttle provides door-to-door van service to and from the airport to downtown hotels. At the airport, SuperShuttle stops are identified on the Ground Transportation level. The fare is $18 one-way and $32 round trip. The Washington Flyer motorcoach service no longer operates between Reagan National and downtown Washington.
Metrorail has a station on the Blue and Yellow lines adjacent to Terminals B and C. Shuttle buses run from Terminal A to the Metrorail station. Passengers proceeding to the main meeting hotels should take the Blue Line to Metro Center and change there to the Red Line. The Marriott and Shoreham hotels are within a block of the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Station on the Red Line ($1.20 off peak and $1.90 peak; 30 minutes travel time); the Washington Hilton is four blocks from the Dupont Circle Station on the Red Line ($1.20 off peak and $1.70 peak; 25 minutes travel time); the Capital Hilton is two blocks from the McPherson Square Station on the Blue Line ($1.20 off peak and $1.20 peak, 20 minutes travel time).
From Dulles International Airport (IAD): Washington Flyer Taxicabs serve Dulles exclusively with 24-hour service from the airport. Taxicab dispatchers are on duty 24 hours a day at the East and West ramps on the lower level of the Main Terminal. Approximate one-way fares to Washington, D.C., range from $44 to $50 and travel time is approximately 45 minutes. The SuperShuttle provides door-to-door van service from Dulles to downtown hotels. The fare is $22 for the first person with $10 for each additional person. The SuperShuttle boarding area is located on the lower level, outside Terminals 1D and 1E.
The Washington Flyer motorcoach service runs from Dulles to Metrorail's West Falls Church Station on the Orange Line. From this point, travelers can continue by Metrorail or by taxicab. The coach service operates seven days a week, beginning 6:00 a.m. weekdays and 7:30 a.m. weekends, with the last run leaving the airport at 10:30 p.m. daily. Coaches depart the airport every 30 minutes, except from 10:20 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays when it operates at 20-minute intervals. The one-way fare is $8 and round-trip is $14. Discounts are offered for groups of three or more traveling together and for seniors. Travel time from Dulles to the station is approximately 25 minutes, depending on traffic. Tickets can be purchased at the airport's ticket podium located inside the vestibule at Arrivals Level Door 4. Since there are no ticketing facilities for the return coach trip at the Metrorail station, passengers boarding there without a round-trip ticket must pay for the trip upon arrival at the airport. From the West Falls Church Metrorail Station, passengers going to the Marriott and Shoreham should exit at Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Station on the Red Line ($1.70 off peak and $2.55 peak; 40 minutes travel time) and those going to the Hilton Washington should exit at Dupont Circle Station on the Red Line ($1.70 off peak and $2.50 peak; 35 minutes travel time) will need to change at Metro Center. Those proceeding to the Capital Hilton need not change as the McPherson Square Station (nearest the hotel) is served by the Orange Line ($1.70 off peak and $2.35 peak, 22 minutes travel time).
From Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI): The taxi stand is located just outside the baggage claim area of the airport's lower level. The airport is a 45-minute cab ride from Washington with an approximate fare of $55. SuperShuttle offers door-to-door van service from the airport to hotels. Passengers should go to the airport's lower level, following signs to the SuperShuttle desk located between bag claims 6 and 7. The ticket counter is open from 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. daily. Fares to downtown Washington hotels are $31 one way and $62 round trip. BWI is also served by an Amtrak train station with more than 40 Amtrak and Maryland commuter (MARC) trains to Washington's Union Station. The airport provides shuttle service from its terminals to the BWI Rail Station. Coach-class service from BWI to downtown Washington is $34 round trip, with a travel time of 25 minutes. Upon arriving at Union Station, attendees can take a cab or Metrorail to their hotels.
Metrorail offers express bus service between BWI and the Greenbelt Metrorail Station on the Green Line. At the airport, passengers should go to the lower level of the International Pier, following signs marked "Public Transit." The service costs $2.50 one way and runs every 40 minutes, 7 days a week, 25 times each weekday and 21 times on Saturdays and Sundays. At the Greenbelt Metrorail Station, attendees can take a cab (approximate fare $12) or Metrorail (Green Line to Fort Totten for changing to the Red Line or to L'Enfant Plaza for changing to the Blue Line), fare varies according to destination (peak from $2.95 to $3.05 or off peak $2.20).
From Amtrak: Washington's Union Station is located at Massachusetts Avenue and First Street NE Amtrak's ticket office at Union Station is open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. A cab ride from Union Station to the hotels takes from 15 to 20 minutes and costs from $8 to $12. Union Station has its own station on the Red Line. The trip, directly by the Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Station (for the Marriott and Omni Shoreham) and to Dupont Circle (for the Hilton Washington) takes about 10 minutes and costs $1.20 to $1.30. Passengers traveling to the Capital Hilton must change at Metro Center to take the Blue or Orange Lines to McPherson Square Station. The trip costs $1.20 and takes about 10 minutes.
Metrorail and Metrobus provide the safest, cleanest, and most efficient way of getting around Washington. The system operates seven days a week, opening 5:30 a.m. weekdays and 7:00 a.m. weekends. It closes at midnight Sunday to Thursday and at 3:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Station entrances are marked by tall brown columns capped with the letter "M" and colored stripes indicating which lines are available. Route maps are posted at each station and inside each subway car. Each train displays the name of its farthest destination. For additional information see the online Program; call WMATA at 202-637-7000, TDD 202-638-3780; or visit the system's web site (http://www.wmata.com) for information. A useful feature is Metro's interactive "RideGuide" (http://rideguide.wmata.com), which maps a route between any two points served by Metrorail or Metrobus.
—Sharon K. Tune is the AHA's convention director