Airport English

It's that time of year when a few of my students ask me to do some "holiday" themed classes. So, I thought it would be good to write some of the essential language you need for going to the airport!

Airports can be stressful places, even in your native language, and present a big challenge for those speaking in a second language! Let's have a look at the key vocabulary for airports:

to check in (phrasal verb) at the check in desk- to show your ticket and passport at an airport so that you can leave your bag and be told where you will be sitting.

a gate - a part of an airport where travelers can get on or off a particular airplane.

luggage (British English)/ baggage (American English) - bags/suitcases etc that you take with you when traveling.

hand luggage (British English)/carry on (American English) - bags that you carry with you onto the airplane.

baggage allowance - the weight of the bags that you are allowed to check in or carry onto an airplane.

a boarding pass - a ticket given to you at check-in that you show to the flight attendant when you enter the airplane.

to board - to get onto the airplane.

an e ticket - a ticket that is held on a computer or phone, not normally printed.


Now, let's look at some of the questions and phrases you may hear at an airport. It's a good idea to practice saying these out loud, so you will recognise them when you hear them. Also, you can print them out and take them with you.

At the check-in desk:

Have you checked-in online?

Can I see your passport, please?

How many bags are you checking in?

Would you like a window or aisle seat? ( AISLE –pronounced I-ull)

Your bag is over the weight allowance. ( Your bag is too heavy)

Going through security:

Do you have any liquids? (Do you have drinks etc. in your bag?)

Please remove any laptops or tablets.

Did you pack this yourself?

Please take off your shoes/belt/jacket.

Walk through. (Go through the scanner).

At the gate:


Please have your boarding pass ready.

Flight number BA103 is now boarding.

Final call for flight number BA103.


Any questions? Please click on the "Chat with us!" button at the bottom of the screen. Practising makes confident and fluent English. To practise with me, click here to book your FREE TRIAL class.

Happy holidays!