FAQ

The 2021 International AA Convention held in Biarritz, southwestern France  takes place Saturday 9 October 2021 with optional excursions to St jean pied de Port (6 October 2021) and Lourdes (11 October 2021) for in-person attendees.

Biarritz is known as the Queen of Resorts and the Resort of Kings (thanks to visiting European Royalty in bygone days, and as the European and French Capital of Surfing. The Biarritz region is also known as France’s California. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Convention.

REGISTRATION

Q. Why are there two forms of registration
Registration for the event is Covid-19 restriction dependent
Virtual convention registration applies only if Covid-19 restrictions are in place
In person registration applies only if Covid-19 restrictions are lifted
Both registrations types are separate and one may not supersede the other
In-person registration will permit access to the virtual registration only event

Q. What is virtual convention registration?
Virtual convention registration is for those attending virtually only
Virtual convention registration is Covid restrictions dependent

Q. What is in-person convention registration?
In-person convention registration is for those attending in person only
In-person registration is No Covid restrictions dependent

Q. What about virtual registration?
Virtual convention registration may be executed on this website online

Q. What about on-site registration?
A.
On-site registration will be set up in the hotel lobby, and will be in effect only if  NO Covid restrictions are in force. In person/on-site registration opens on Saturday 9 October 2021

Q. How much will virtual registration cost?
Virtual convention registration is €12.50  and may be made online via PayPal

Q. How much will in-person registration cost?
A.
In-person discounted pre-registration is €37.00 (euro) when paid online before 30 August 2021. After 30 August 2021 the registration will be €42.00 (euro). Payment via PayPal online, or in cash at the event

Q. Must everyone register? I thought I didn’t have to pay to go to an A.A. event.
A.
Yes. Everyone must register. Attendance at this special celebration is voluntary and, as responsible A.A. members, “we pay our own way.” The Biarritz International Convention is paid for by those A.A. members who participate in it.

Q. Can registrations be refunded?
A.
No. There is a no-refund policy for registrations, however you may transfer a paid registration to someone else.

Q. Is the Seventh Tradition practiced?
A.
Yes. the Seventh tradition is practiced at Speaker Meetings, and receipts go to AA GSO after  we cover direct expenses. Expenses are primarily funded from registration fees and raffle ticket sales

Q. Can travel agents register groups or individuals?
A.
No. Payments from travel agencies to register groups or individuals will not be accepted.

CONVENTION SCHEDULE

Q. What is the general schedule for the Convention?
A.
The convention runs though Saturday 9 October. Pre-event and post-event informal meetings are scheduled for those who arrive early and/or stay-over late.

The event banquet/meal will take place in the hotel’s dining room on Saturday evening. at 19h00. All members will be seated together in the same area.The Saturday night Banquet MUST be booked with the hotel before 24 September.

An Anniversary dinner will take place in the hotel’s dining room on Sunday evening at 19h00, for everyone celebrating a birthday during the convention. The Sunday night Anniversary Dinner MUST be booked with the hotel before 24 September.

Q. What tourism excursions are planned before/after the convention
A1. On Wednesday 6 October 2020 an excursion to St Jean Pied de Port (Mile Zero on El Camino) will take place and include a group lunch at the Hotel Central. Transport is included. This is voluntary and group members incur additional expense for lunch.

A2. On Monday 11 October 2020 an all-day excursion (transport and guides) is planned to Lourdes. The O.C.  makes all arrangements on behalf of those who register for this event. It is voluntary and group members incur additional expense for food, and any additional  accommodation if they stay in Lourdes overnight.

Q. Who are the Speakers?
A. All convention Speakers are long-time members of the program, with many years of recovery.

Q. Is there a special “Invited Speaker”
Karen C. Ph.D., lecturer and facilitator of 12 Step workshops/presentations, AA & Al-Anon member since 1976 will share on “Double Winners”, and facilitate a 2 hour workshop/presentation “Tools For Living A Peaceful Life”. Karen is author of the successful recovery books “Each day a new Beginning”, “The promise of a New Day”, “In God’s Care”, among over 25 other books. She focuses on the development of spiritual growth and strengthening one’s twelve step recovery. More info here and at www.womens-spirituality.com.

ACCOMMODATION

Q. What if I have questions regarding my reservations?
A.
The telephone number for the venue hotel reservations is +33 (0)491 007 798, Email contact is makovacs@vacancesbleues.fr For any changes or cancellations, please contact this or your hotel and/or accommodation choice directly.

Q. What about RVs and Campsites?
A.
RV and campsite information is available on the Biarritz Tourisme website.

TRANSPORTATION

Q. Will local transportation be available?
A.
Yes, reliable local public bus transport services the entire Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne area as well as the adjoining communities of Bidart, Tarnos and St Jean de Luz. A Full day unlimited pass costs €2.00. Public transport services are available from Biarritz and adjacent airports. Complete information on local transport is available here

Free shuttle bus services, known as ‘Navettes’, are available in Biarritz, Anglet and Bayonne. The Navettes provide free service throughout Biarritz and Bayonne (all year), and Anglet (Summers only) , on a fixed schedule throughout the day and evening.

If not staying at the convention venue hotel, most in-person attendees will be within easy walking distance or a very short ride on public transportation from their accommodations. Available optional hotels for this event can be identified with the help of Biarritz Tourisme office in English and some are listed here.

Q. Will there be shuttle/transfer service?
A.
Yes. Limited shuttle service is available to and from the Biarritz airport and train station. Your hotel can arrange any other transfer services required.

Q. What about special airline rates?
A.
Biarritz is well served by low-cost airlines from European centers such as London, Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen, Dublin, Geneva, Birmingham and others. Car rentals are available at the Biarritz airport and elsewhere. Full Info. is available on the Biarritz Tourisme website

Q. What about Long-distance/First and Business class flight privileges
Our partnership with Emirates Airlines affords convention delegates free chauffeur driven service upon landing at CDG (Paris) airport to overnight/stop-over accommodation in Paris (Ile de France) for delegates traveling on Emirates and transferring/flying onwards to Biarritz. | Details here

Q. Where to find information about crossing the border into France for this event?
A.
As an attendee to an AA international convention you would be considered a visitor for tourism purposes. For accurate, specific and up-to-date information about visas and travel into France, visit the ‘Visas For France’ and/or the ‘France in the USA’ (English-language) website.

Q. What about the day-trip excursions offered to attendees
Day-trip excursions are optional and participants must register for the respective excursions. St Jean Pied de Port excursion is for early-birds (additional costs include coach transport only, lunch, and any souvenir shopping).  Lourdes excursion is for excursion registered members only, and involves additional expense for transport, guides, food and any overnight accommodation etc.

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

Q. What are the Covid-18 travel restrictions in France
A. You can find information and guidance from the French Government here (in English)

SPECIAL NEEDS-ACCESSIBILITIES

Q. Will there be scooters available for physically-challenged attendees?
A.
 Scooters and wheelchairs are available for rent and there are Special  Needs-Accessibilities Hospitality areas located at the Convention hotel. If you have difficulty walking long distances, then you may want to arrange for a scooter or wheelchair. You can reserve this in advance by checking out the Biarritz Tourism website

WEATHER

Q. Is it hot in Biarritz?
A.
October is one of the best months for sunshine and great waves for surfing, with average highs around 21°- 29° centigrade and lows around 13° centigrade. It can be hot outdoors in the direct sun.  Be prepared for cool temperatures indoors, the air-conditioning will be on. Biarritz weather forecasts are available here We look forward to welcoming you to Biarritz and to celebrating the Biarritz – Keep It Simple convention together!