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ATIS Hotel

posted 8 Dec 2008, 16:58 by Air Scouts Canberra

"ATIS" stands for "Automated Terminal Information Service," which is a recorded message broadcast at most busy airports around the country. ATIS gives pilots the current wind, air traffic, and runway information and each time the information changes, the broadcast is revised, with each revision being assigned the next letter in the phonetic alphabet. This designation is included in the broadcast, which is identified as, "Information Alpha..." Bravo, Charlie, etc. At ATIS-equipped airports, pilots are required to listen to the recording prior to contacting Approach Control or the tower and must repeat the "Information so-and-so" identifier when they make their initial radio call. Sometimes, the results can be hilarious...

The scenario: it was night over Las Vegas and "Information Hotel" was current on the ATIS. Mooney 33W wasn't too sharp, but he didn't let that stop him from talking to Approach Control.

Approach: "33W, confirm you have 'Hotel.' 

33W: "Uhhhmm, we're flying into McCarren International. Uhhhmm, we don't have a hotel room yet."

After that, Approach was laughing too hard to respond. The next several calls went something like this call to United 583 (which didn't make it any easier to stop laughing)...

Approach: "United 583, descend to Flight Level 220."

United 583: "United 583, down to Flight Level 220. We don't have a hotel room, either."
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