Meeting FAQs

Answers to the most common questions sent to our inbox

Do I need to “sign-up” for a meeting?
No. If you believe that you have a problem with alcohol, you can just show up to any meeting on the list.

What is the difference between an open and a closed meeting?
Closed meetings are only for those who believe they have a problem with alcohol. Open meetings are for anyone. Both types of meetings focus on Alcoholics. However, non-alcoholic friends or family members may attend open meetings as observers.

Can I bring my family to an A.A. meeting?
Family members or close friends are welcome at “Open” A.A. meetings.

Does it cost anything to attend an AA meeting?
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.

My search is not returning any results, but I know there are meetings nearby.
The first step is to determine if you are actually within the NENY Area. Our meeting finder only has data for Area 48 which generally covers Northeastern New York roughly from the Canadian border to just south of Poughkeepsie. This map shows the exact boundaries of Area 48.

Next, check the filters on the meeting finder. There are dropdown menus for location, day of the week, time of day and type of meeting. If you typed in a City or Zip Code, it will only list meetings in that city or zip code. If you choose “near me” or “near location” which are located as a dropdown from the magnifying glass icon, you’ll be able to choose the radius from the location you typed in. The radius option is not available when using a city, zip code or county search. Make sure the radius is wide enough.

There is a meeting that is not showing up when I search for my district or my county.
First, check the filters. Make sure you aren’t searching only for meetings on a specific day of the week. Try searching for the meeting by zip code or city.
Second, our system is not perfect, all the meetings are entered by humans, so if the records keeper spelled the name of the county wrong or forgot to add a district number, it won’t show up in the district or county search. Try to find the meeting by entering the group name into the search box. You can also try searching for meetings in that city to see if it comes up. If you find the meeting, email with the link to the meeting and let us know whether it’s the county search or the district search that isn’t working.
If the meeting cannot be found at all, it may have been removed or reported as closed.

Why isn’t my meeting listed?
Meetings without a group contact or a GSR are not listed on the meeting finder. Meetings which have been reported as closed are also not listed on the meeting finder until we are able to contact a member of that group to verify the meeting is still happening. It is important that you keep the phone number and mailing address updated. If someone reports your meeting closed when they just weren’t able to find the door, we will delist the meeting if we aren’t able to contact one of the members listed to verify it still exists.

What if I live on the border of Area 48 and I’m having trouble finding meetings?
We are aware that the meeting finder may not behave correctly for those who live very close to the border of Area 48. We suggest typing in the city name instead of using the location based search. If you still aren’t getting any results, try a different nearby city name that is inside the Area 48 boundaries. Additionally, while we do not endorse the app, we do upload our meeting information to the Meeting Guide app for IOS and Android. That app should allow those who live on the border to view meeting information in their radius and see meetings within Area 48 and within bordering Areas. We find this to be particularly helpful for those in the southern part of the area who border Area 49, SENY. Again, we don’t endorse or promote the app, we make no promises that it will work on your device, nor do we promise that all nearby areas will upload their meetings to the app, but we do upload our meeting information in an effort to be helpful.

What if my meeting information is wrong?
If a meeting is incorrectly listed, contact your district records keeper. All meeting information comes from the district records keeper. Check here for information on where and when district meetings happen.
You must be a member of the home group in order to request changes to the meeting. If you are not a member of the home group, attend the business meeting and encourage the homegroup to contact their district to have the information changed.
To make changes to a meeting, you need the following information:

  • Group Name, Location and Time of the meeting. If you have the Group Service Number, that is extra helpful.
  • What do you want to change about the meeting?
  • Name of the Group Contact and/or GSR. For a group contact or GSR we need a name, a phone number we can call or text to verify the information, email address and a mailing address (if you don’t have a mailing address ask a friend, ask the church or ask your district, but GSO requires somewhere that they can mail important updates for your group). For privacy reasons, we won’t tell you who’s information is currently on file for your group. If it’s the same as what you are sending, we won’t update it. If it’s new, we’ll update it. But please always send along this information.

How do I add a new meeting?
Visit your district meeting or contact your district records keeper. They will collect all the necessary information to create a new group for you.

Why can’t I just email you to change my meeting information or start a new group? Why do I have to go to through my district?
The area has processes in place to make our records keeping process efficient and distribute the work among many people. Our Area has over 1000 meetings and that is too much for the Area records keeper to handle alone. Plus, your district needs to be informed of the group changes and when new groups are added. If you are having trouble contacting your district records keeper, try contacting the DCM for your district or attending your district meeting.