About New Orleans

Situated on a bend of the Mississippi River 100 miles from its mouth, New Orleans has been the chief city of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico's busiest northern port since the early 1700s. New Orleans is one of the world's most fascinating cities in the USA with a truly unique blend of culture, food and music. Nicknamed the "Big Easy," the city is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene, distinctive architecture and spicy cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz.

Visa Information

AIB encourages you to familiarize yourself with visa and travel requirements well in advance of the conference. Visitors to the United States must have a valid passport. A visa is also required for citizens of countries that do not participate with the Visa Waiver Program and may take up to 3 months to obtain.

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 38 participating countries to visit the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, if they meet the program’s requirements. Information about the Visa Waiver Program, including a list of the 38 participating countries and program requirements, can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.

Important: Travelers using the Visa Waiver Program must also have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before they travel.

Applying for a Visa

If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to apply for a business visitor visa (category B-1), which allows visitors to travel to the United States to attend a scientific conference. Please visit the U.S. Department of State website. for complete information on how to apply for a visitor visa. Because the visa process involves multiple steps that are time consuming, it is critical that you apply for your visa well in advance of your travel dates.

Helpful Links

Creating an Invitation Letter

Attendees who require a visa to travel to the United States, can download an invitation letter from the AIB website. As a policy, the participant must be already registered for the conference before an invitation letter can be issued. Therefore, please make sure that you first register for the conference. Once your registration is complete, and you have received confirmation from the AIB Secretariat that you are successfully registered for the conference, you will be able to Download an Invitation Letter.

Air Travel Information

New Orleans is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). Located just eleven miles west of downtown New Orleans, the airport currently hosts 14 airlines and serves 54 nonstop destinations with approximately 140 daily departures.

Please remember to visit the AIB Air Travel Discounts page for a special Star Alliance discount for AIB conference participants.

Getting to the Conference Venue

The AIB 2016 meeting will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans. The conference venue will also serve as the primary conference hotel for the AIB 2016 meeting. Please see the Venue and Lodging Information webpage for special conference rates and reservation information.

For transfer between the airport and the conference venue, AIB has partnered with the official ground transportation provider, Airport Shuttle, to offer conference participants the opportunity to book ahead at a discounted fare: AIB 2016 Annual Meeting Official Discounted Airport Shuttle

If you are driving to New Orleans, or arriving by bus or train, learn about alternative transportation options.

Basic Travel Information


The legal tender is the US Dollar (USD). Most stores and restaurants accept Credit and Debit Cards, and are generally capable of processing both chip cards as well as swipe cards. ATMs are easy to locate, however, please note that most ATMs will charge a transaction fee, in addition to any fees your personal bank may charge.


In June, New Orleans will be in the Central Daylight Time (CDT) which is UTC-5.


The United States operates in 110 volts, 60 cycles (60hz), with flat prong plugs. Please remember to bring any adapters you may need.


In late June, New Orleans will be warm and humid, with daytime temperatures around 31-33°C (88-92 °F). Night temperature may fall to around 22-23°C (73-75°F). The weather typically is partly to mostly cloudy with a slight chance of occasional thunderstorms. You can find more information at WeatherSpark-New Orleans.

Internet Access

The special lodging rates at the Sheraton New Orleans for the AIB conference include free Wi-fi access at the hotel. Outside of the hotel plenty of places in New Orleans also offer free Wi-fi access.

Tipping Advice

Typical tipping behaviour the United States is as follows: Taxis usually expect about a 10-15 percent tip, while waiters expect 15-20 percent. For bellman or porters $1-$2 per bag and for housekeeping about $2 per day is the general average.

Sigthseeing in New Orleans

Gray Line New Orleans will be offering AIB participants special rates for tours during the AIB 2016 conference. A variety of full day and half day sightseeing tours are available. Gray Line will have representatives on site during the conference to assist with tour bookings and visitor information. To see the available tours, and book tours in advance, please visit the AIB 2016 Sightseeing Tours page. Remember to use discount code AIB to get the conference discount.

Additional Resources

Recommendations from AIB Members

If you have visited New Orlean recently (or you are a local AIB member) and would like to share personal recommendations with AIB members that will be participating in AIB 2016, please use the form below to add your recommendations to this list.

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