Final Reminders about Housing, Travel, and Ground Transportation
Sharon K. Tune, December 2006
Individuals must make reservations with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau's housing bureau. Reservations for the five hotels in the AHA's block will be accepted via the AHA web site through 8 p.m. on December 14, 2006. U.S. and Canadian attendees can telephone (toll-free 866-799-8927) during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. International callers may call 506-637-0311 to make reservations during normal business hours. Faxes may be sent 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 506-433-3033. See the AHA's web site for additional details on deposit requirements and how to make, modify, or cancel a reservation. The cutoff date for the AHA's official block is 8:00 p.m. EST on December 14. After this date, 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.
Association Travel Concepts (ACT) has been selected as the official travel agency for the 121st annual meeting. Special air and car rental rates are available with American Airlines, United Airlines, Avis Rent A Car, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. To take advantage of rates and special benefits, e-mail ATC at firstname.lastname@example.org or check for additional information at www.atcmeetings.com. Click on "Meetings" and go to "Air–Meetings and Leisure (TravelASP)." When registering, use the online booking tool and enter "AHA" in the "Company or Organization or Association" field. 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 1 through Wednesday, January 10, 2007.
Arriving by Air
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) serves the Atlanta area. Domestic concourses A, B, C, D, and T and international concourse E are served by an underground walkway and train system that ferries passengers between concourses and two terminals. Computer-operated trains (free of charge) run approximately every two minutes. Automated announcements direct passengers onboard. To review a terminal layout, see www.atlanta-airport.com. The airport is located 10 miles from downtown. Incoming visitors can reach hotels via taxi, van shuttle, limo, or mass transit.
Taxis are readily available outside the baggage claim areas of the airport. Exit the terminal and walk to the Ground Transportation Center, where the taxicab dispatcher will hail a cab. The taxi fare from the airport to downtown Atlanta is a $30 flat rate ($2 each additional person), one way, not including an optional gratuity. The trip takes approximately 20 minutes, though longer in rush hours.
The Atlanta Airport Shuttle offers service from the Ground Transportation Center to all of the major downtown hotels for $16.50 per person one way or $29 round trip. One-way or round-trip tickets may be purchased from the customer service/ticketing counter located in the Ground Transportation Information Center located at the top of the escalators in the Arrivals Lobby of the airport. Cash, and Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted. Hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. seven days a week. Buses depart Hartsfield every 15 to 20 minutes, with up to one hour travel time to hotels. Hotel pickup times are twice an hour at 30-minute intervals from the downtown hotels. Click here for a $2 discount coupon on the roundtrip fare, or see the AHA's annual meeting page .
Atlanta's mass transit system is Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The MARTA entrance is located inside the western end of the airport's main terminal. Upon arrival, follow signs to baggage claim by taking the "people mover" to the terminal baggage-claim area. From there, follow "Ground Transportation/MARTA" signs. The fare is $1.75 (coins only, unless you purchase a token from nearby machines or the MARTA information booth). All trains head downtown, so any train is the right one. Trains run every four to eight minutes Monday through Friday from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., with the last train leaving the airport at 1:00 a.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, hours are 6:00–12:00 a.m. Passengers should alight at Peachtree Center (Station N1), which is just two blocks from the Hilton and one block from the Marriott, Hyatt, and Westin. The ride downtown takes about 15 minutes.
—Sharon K. Tune is the AHA's convention director.