Travel & Transportation

Travel & Transportation

New Orleans and its richly mottled old buildings, its sly sophistication - has the flavor of an old European capital than an American city. New Orleans' architectural character is unlike that of any other American city.

New Orleans is considered a melting pot of culture, music and for its amazing culinary scene.  Dive into favorites like Étouffée, Oysters Rockefeller, Gumbo, the Sazerac cocktail and Pralines.  Culinary classes are available for those who wish to take home a little local flavor.

More information on full-immersion cooking and dining experiences can be found here.

Letters of Invitation

Individuals requiring letters of invitation to obtain travel visas may access the online form at Invitation Letter Request Form.

Important information regarding Visa Invitation Letters:

  • Your name must be listed exactly as it appears on your passport. Any differences between the name on your passport and the name on your invitation letter or other documentation could lead to a delay and/or denial of your visa.
  • If you are presenting a paper, include the title and session in which the paper will be presented.
  • Please note that each individual requesting an invitation letter must fill out a separate form.
  • All letters of invitation will be sent by a locked PDF unless otherwise requested. If you require a paper copy please provide a courier account number or credit card number with expiration date with the original request.
  • Please allow up to 15 business days to process your request.
  • OSA Management reserves the right to request further information regarding the company or affiliation of the attendee to ensure the validity of requests. Meeting attendees do not need to wait until your paper is accepted to request a Visa Invitation Letter.
  • OSA is unable to contact U.S. Embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry to attend a meeting.
  • We recommend that you secure your travel visa before registering for the conference as cancellations after the preregistration cutoff may result in a cancellation fee.

For questions about the Visa Invitation Letter application process, email

Apply now for your US Visa

If you need a travel visa, begin the visa application process now! The application process can take up to 6 months or more. We strongly encourage you to apply for your visa as early as possible, but no later than three months before you wish to enter the United States. Strict security requirements may cause delays in visa processing. More information about applying for a United States visa is available at U.S. VISAs.
Online Resources:
U.S. Customs and Border Information
VWP and ESTA Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. State Department Visa Information
Department of Homeland Security
National Academies International Visitors Office
ESTA Application
ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveler is admissible to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival. The ESTA application collects biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply as soon as they begin preparing travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets.

Getting To and From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Travel by Air
Transportation from Airports
Ground Transportation
Driving Directions and Parking Information

Travel by Air

Astor Crowne Plaza is located approximately 35 minutes from the New Orleans International airport.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) - 15.4 miles
900 Airline Dr., Kenner, LA 70062
Phone: (504) 464-0831

Transportation from Airport:


Shuttle service is available from the airport to hotels and various other locations in the New Orleans for $24.00 (per person, one-way) or $44.00 (per person, round-trip). These fares include three (3) bags per person. Additional baggage may be subject to additional fees. Passengers can purchase tickets at the Airport at Airport Shuttle ticket booths located on the first level throughout the Baggage Claim area.

SuperShuttle is also available to attendees to and from the airport.  Visit their website for your attendee discount.


The Jefferson Transit Authority (JET) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) provide nine (9) daily departures to downtown New Orleans. Both use the bus stop located on the outer lanes of the second floor, outside the Concourse C Lobby Information Booth.

The Airport-Downtown Express (E2) Bus operated by JET is approximately $2.00. The fare boxes will accept $1, $5, $10, $20 dollar bills and all U.S.. coins. The Airport-Downtown Express (E2) provides service from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, down Airline Drive into New Orleans, which takes approximately fifty (50) minutes. Visit the Jefferson Transit website, for more information on public transit in the area.

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides the Airport Express (202) Bus with service to and from the Airport into New Orleans. Schedule information, pick up locations and route information can be found here.  The fare for this route is approximately $1.50.


Taxicab booths are located on the first level of the Terminal outside of Baggage Claim Belts 1 and 14. Passengers must wait in line at one of these booths for taxi service.

Taxi rides cost approximately $36.00 from the airport to the Central Business District (CBD) or French Quarter (west of Elysian Fields) for up to two (2) passengers. For three (3) or more passengers, the fare will be approximately $15.00 per passenger. Taxis are required to accept credit card payments.

Ground Transportation:

Street Cars

Getting around New Orleans by streetcar is a great way to see the city. Streetcars in New Orleans offer $1.25 fares and can be paid with exact change when you board. One, three, and 31-day unlimited ride “Jazzy Passes” are also available for $3, $9 and $55 respectively. See the Regional Transit Authority (RTA)'s website for a list of places to purchase these. You can conveniently pay for your ride from your phone by using the RTA gomobile app.  Passes are non-refundable and non-replaceable.

Fares listed above are subject to change. check directly with the (RTA) website for more information.

Driving Directions and Parking:

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Distance from hotel: 15.4 Miles. 
The distance is approximately 35 minutes 
Google Maps


Book within the group block and receive parking at the Astor Crowne Plaza for $41 plus tax per 24-hour period.
New Orleans Maps

With these maps you'll be able to navigate to and within New Orleans like a native.
Special Discounts for Congress Attendees

OSA continues to enhance the benefits we provide to all Congress participants. We actively work with the host city, hotel and local area business to provide amenities and discounts. Additional discounts will become available from now until the conference. Please continue to check back for up-to-date discount programs and information!

AIRLINE DISCOUNTS Airlines is offering discounted fares for all our conference Attendees. You may book online at "Book United Meetings Travel" and enter ZXJP194880 in the Offer or Tour Code box when searching for your flights. If booking through a travel professional or United Meetings at +1 800.426.1122 (FREE), please provide them with the following information: Agreement Code 194880, Z Code: ZXJP. This code is valid seven days before and after the conference at destination airport. Airlines is offering discounts for domestic and international flights when using the following global meeting code:  NMPDC. This code is only valid at destination airport five days before and after the conference.

Reservations and ticketing are available via or by calling the Delta Meeting Network Reservations at +1 800.328.1111 +1 800.328.1111 FREE. Please note that a Direct Ticketing Charge will apply for booking by phone. When booking online, select "Advanced Search" option and enter your Meeting ID Code in the box provided on the Search Flight page. 
GROUND TRANSPORTATION Rent-a-Car is pleased to offer low rates with unlimited mileage to participants attending the conference. If you wish to reserve a car please contact Todd Alexander at +1 800.525.7537 Ext. 35003 or the Meetings and Convention Department at + 1 800.525.7537. They can ensure that you maximize your rental dollars. Please mention AWD # D340737 when you call. Reservations may also be made on the Avis website.  
World Wide Telephone Numbers
The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) Number is D340737.
NOTE: This code is valid seven days before and after the conference. is pleased to offer 10% discount off a roundtrip or one way reservation to participants attending the conference. Please refer to the discount OPTIC. Discounted reservations must be made on the SuperShuttle website. Discount does not apply to exclusive vans (which are already discounted) or pre-existing reservations.  Discounts cannot be applied retroactively. It is valid on select (Booking codes: ATF, EMG, EWC, and VAN) SuperShuttle and ExecuCar services nationwide. offers a 10% discount off the lowest available rail fare to the meeting destination up to three days prior to the meeting start date and three days following the last day of the meeting. To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. Please refer to Convention Fare Code X36D-961 when making your reservation.


Welcome to New Orleans

Learn more about:

July Weather in New Orleans:

Average High Temperature: 91°F (32.77°C)
Average Low Temperature: 73 °F (22.77 °C)

For the most current weather forecast, please visit here


Standard 120v/60Hz voltage electricity is used in the United States. Learn about international electricity and see photos of the adapters and transformers you need for your appliances. 


The US Dollar (USD) is the currency of the United States. Credit cards are widely accepted; VISA and MASTERCARD are most popular. Traveler’s checks are accepted at currency exchanges or banks, but are not as widely accepted. View the latest currency exchange rates

Time Zone:

United States/New Orleans) is Central Time Zone.

Downtown and Warehouse District
In New Orleans, the Central Business District (CBD) is the city's downtown. The boundaries for the CBD roughly fall at Canal Street to Poydras and from Claiborne Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. Due to its close proximity to the French Quarter many of the city's hotels reside within the CBD. The neighborhood is also home to some of New Orleans favorite cocktail bars and many fabulous restaurants... more Downtown and Warehouse District info
French Quarter French Quarter
The original settlement of New Orleans, called Vieux Carré, French Quarter or simply The Quarter, is the oldest neighborhood in the city. Established by the French in 1718, the location was, and is still, a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River... more French Quarter info