From the Annual Meeting column of the October 2003 Perspectives

Have You Made Your Arrangements for the 2004 Annual Meeting?

AHA Staff, November 2003

Preregistration

The Program for the 118th annual meeting of the AHA, to be held January 8–11, 2004, in Washington, D.C., was mailed to members in October. It is also available online on the AHA's web site at http://www.theaha.org/annual. The meeting preregistration form was included in the Program mailing and in the September Perspectives. Members can also preregister online via a link from the AHA's web site. Preregistration must be received by Friday, December 5. After this date, individuals will need to register at the meeting

Accommodations

Hotel reservations must be made exclusively with ITS, the Washington, D.C. Convention & Tourism Corporation's exclusive housing vendor, based in Deerfield, Illinois (details about, and forms for, reserving accommodation were printed in the September Perspectives and are also available on the AHA's web site). Reservations will be accepted via the AHA web site (http://www.theaha.org/annual), the ITS call center, fax, or mail (the last only if accompanied by a check deposit) through December 2, 2003. The call center (800-492-7886) will accept reservations from the United States and Canada Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Central Standard Time. International callers may telephone 847-940-4211 to make reservations during normal business hours. Faxes from the United States and Canada may be sent 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 800-521-6017, but will be processed only during business hours. International attendees may fax to 847-940-2386. Suite reservations can be made with the call center, by fax, or mail but cannot be made via the Internet. Only bookings made by check should be sent by mail to AHA/WCTC Hotel Reservation Office, 108 Wilmot Road, 4th Floor, P.O. Box 825, Deerfield, IL 60015-0825. The checks should be made payable to AHA/WCTC Hotel Reservation Office, in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank.

A confirmation message will be sent by the housing bureau for all new reservations, modifications, and cancellations. The bureau will send out confirmations by mail, fax, or e-mail no later than 72 hours after processing reservations. Room reservations made by phone are confirmed immediately with a confirmation number. Please note that the individual hotels will not send out a separate confirmation. Deposit requirements are $125 per room, $250 for a one-bedroom suite, and $375 for a two-bedroom suite. A deposit is required for each reservation.

The cutoff date for the AHA's official block is December 2, 2003. After this date, any remaining inventory in the block will be released and rooms will be available on a space-available basis. The hotels will continue to honor the AHA's convention rates based upon space availability. If all hotels sell out, the AHA will work with the housing bureau to secure additional hotel rooms. Meeting attendees can continue to make and modify (depending on availability) or cancel reservations from September 2 through December 9, 2003, 5:00 p.m. CST through ITS by telephone, fax, in writing, or through e-mail. Attendees will not be penalized for any cancellation made on or before December 9. Refunds—for cancellations processed prior to the cutoff date—will be made through the same method of payment by which the attendee originally paid the deposit. After December 15, attendees who wish to cancel must contact the hotel directly. Reservations canceled after December 9 but prior to 72 hours of arrival will be subject to an $18 processing fee. Reservations canceled within 72 hours of arrival date are subject to forfeiture of the entire amount of the deposit.

Travel Arrangements

Association Travel Concepts (ATC) is the official travel agency for the annual meeting. As such, ATC has negotiated discounts with United Airlines, US Airways, Amtrak, and Avis to bring attendees special air, rail, and car rental rates that are lower than those available to the public. To take advantage of these rates and benefits, call ATC at 800-458-9383, fax 858-362-3153, or e-mail reservations@atcmeetings.com. ATC is available for reservations from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Airfares: By calling ATC, attendees will save 10 to 15 percent off of the lowest available fare for United (ID. number 510CK) and US Airways (ID. Number GF60172758) tickets purchased more than 60 days prior to the meeting. For tickets purchased less than 60 days prior, the discounts will be 5 to 10 percent off of the lowest available fares. Some restrictions may apply. Service fees vary. Discounts apply for travel Monday, January 5 through Wednesday, January 14, 2004.

ATC will also search for the lowest available fare on any airline serving Reagan National, Dulles International, and Baltimore-Washington International airports. ATC provides personalized service, advance seat assignments, special meal requests, frequent flier programs updates, electronic ticketing, e-mail access for convenient booking of your tickets, and more.

Train fares: Special high-speed Metroliner Service is available every hour along the Northeast corridor. To book space, call Amtrak at 800.872.1477 or contact ATC at 800.458.9383. Refer to fare order number X5544A-968 when making the booking; discount fares available January 5–14, 2004. The offer is not valid on Auto Train, Club, or Custom Class service. Fare is valid on Metroliner Service during off-peak weekday travel and all departures on weekends.

Car rental: Attendees can also arrange to rent a car through Avis, with discounted rates effective from January 5–14, 2004. Contact Avis at 866-629-6995, noting ID. number AWDK609400. You can also call ATC at 800-458-9383.