Final Reminders about Housing, Travel, and Ground Transportation
Sharon K. Tune, December 2004
Individuals must make reservations with the Housing Bureau operated by the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau. Reservations for the hotels in the AHA's block will be accepted through December 6, 2004. U.S. and Canadian attendees can telephone (toll-free 888-877-0255) during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Reservations for suites can be made by contacting the Housing Manager at 206-461-5894. Suite reservations cannot be made via the Internet. International callers may call 206-461-5881 to make reservations during normal business hours. Faxes may be sent 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 206-461-5853. See the AHA's web site for additional details on deposit requirements and how to make, modify, or cancel a reservation. The cut-off date for the AHA's official block is December 6. 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 (ATC) is the official travel agency for the 119th annual meeting. Special airfares, train fares, and car rental rates are available with United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Avis Rent A Car, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. 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 9:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Discounts apply for travel Monday, January 3 through Wednesday, January 12, 2005.
The Seattle area is served by the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, known as SeaTac, and has direct and nonstop service throughout the United States and the northern hemisphere, included daily nonstop flights to/from Europe and Asia. SeaTac is 16 miles from downtown Seattle. Incoming visitors can reach downtown hotels via taxi ($35), Gray Line Airport Express bus service ($8.50 adult and $6 child one way, $14 adult and $10 child round trip), Shuttle Express Seattle Van Service (rates vary, beginning at $21.25 one way); and public transit ($1.25–$2.00 one way, single fare; Sundays, all day pass $2.00). The airport has consolidated most ground transportation operations in one central location on the third floor of the parking garage, except as noted below.
The Gray Line Airport Express (206-626-6088) provides frequent shuttle service between the airport and downtown hotels. Reservations are not accepted. Riders can purchase tickets from drivers or at most downtown Seattle hotel concierge desks. Tickets are also available at the Gray Line of Seattle booths located at the north and south ends of the baggage claim area at SeaTac. Individuals can purchase tickets online, with credit card number, a valid e-mail address, and access to a printer required for purchase. Online tickets must be purchased at least four days in advance of date of travel.
Arriving passengers should proceed to the lower level of the airport to one of two boarding locations: at Airport Express's North Booth, outside the United Airlines baggage claim area, Door 24, or at its South Booth outside the International baggage claim area, Door 8. Buses depart the airport and hotels every 30 minutes, between 4:50 a.m. and midnight. For recorded schedule information call 206-624-5077 or 800-426-7532.
The Shuttle Express (425-981-7000) provides shared-ride, door-to-door service between the airport and downtown hotels with service 24 hours per day. Reservations can be made in advance by phone or online, preferably one or two days before arrival or departure. At the airport, arriving passengers can also use one of several courtesy phones located on the baggage claim level (dial 48) to request a pick up. Passengers can pay the driver directly with cash, local check, credit/debit card, or traveler's check on the day of travel, or they can prepay by calling the reservations department with credit card information. Online reservations require credit card details at time the reservation is made. Fares are based upon the destination zip code and the number of people traveling in the party. A child 12 years old or younger rides free with a paying adult. With scheduled hotel service a child 5 or younger rides free when accompanied by a paying adult. For actual fares, visit the shuttle's web site.
The shuttle's pick-up booth is located on the third floor of the parking garage at the SeaTac. After collecting luggage, passengers should follow the red-and-black directional signs. Once in the parking garage, guests should proceed to the Shuttle Express booth by following the ground transportation check-in signs. The booth is adjacent to the Ground Transportation Information Center. Shuttle coordinators will be wearing red-and-black jackets or vests.
Metro Transit (800-542-7876; automated schedule information 206-287-8463) offers public transportation to and from Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Bus stops serving the airport are located outside Door 6 by Baggage Carousel 5, on the Baggage Claim (lower) level. Departure times are shown on information signs at the bus stop. Metro's online Trip Planner (206-553-3000, TTY 206-684-1739) can assist passengers in planning their trip to and from the airport. Online users should enter “Sea-Tac Airport” as the origin or destination.
Metro Route 194 offers daily service to and from the airport, from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays. Buses depart every 30 minutes in both directions; travel time is approximately 30 minutes. Riders must have exact fare, either coins or paper currency. On buses traveling into downtown Seattle, riders pay as they board; on buses traveling out of downtown Seattle, as they exit. For $5, individuals can purchase a Visitor Pass for unlimited daily travel on all regular and special event Metro service including Seattle's historic waterfront streetcar. Metro Transit is free between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in Downtown Seattle. The ride-free area extends from the north at Battery Street to South Jackson Street on the south, and east at Sixth Avenue to the waterfront on the west. Tunnel stations are included, but the waterfront street car (Metro Route 99) is not. All hotels in the AHA's block are included in the ride-free area.
— Sharon K. Tune is the AHA's convention director.