ESL Airport Vocabulary

Go through security
Listen to the phrase »

To pass through the security area before being allowed to enter the airport.

“You’ll have to go through security before arriving at your gate. I hope you don’t have any metal in your pockets!.”

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Check your bags
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To leave your larger bags with the airport staff before getting on the plane. These will be put below the plane since they don’t fit in the passenger area.

“I would check that bag in. It is much too big to bring with you.”

Carry on
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A small bag that you will take on the plane with you is considered a “carry on.

“This airline allows two carry on bags per customer.”

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Stand by
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Most airlines will let a passenger with a ticket for a different flight get on the desired flight if there is room. This person has to wait until right before the flight takes off. If there is an extra seat he can travel on this plane. If all the seats are taken he has to wait for the next flight.

“We got to the airport really early so I decided to try to get on an earlier flight as a stand by passenger. It turned out that all the ticket holders showed up, so I had to wait.”

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Take off
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This is the hour that the plane leaves the airport.

“What time do we take off?”

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To board
To get on to the plane. The act of entering the plane at the designated time.

‘What time are we going to board?”

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Airfare
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The price paid to travel on a plane.

“If you want to go to South America you’ll need to take into consideration the airfare and the price of the hotels you will be staying at.”

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Boarding pass
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A pass or document that lets the passenger enter the plane.

“Even though you bought your ticket online, you will need a boarding pass to get on the plane.”

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Layover
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When you take a flight to one location to catch another plane to go to your desired location.

“We’ll have a layover in Denver and then we will continue to Los Angles.”

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Jet lag
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The tired feeling one gets after traveling for many hours through different time zones.

“When you travel from Boston to San Francisco you will probably have jet lag.”

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Motion sickness
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To feel sick from the movements of the plane.

“If you suffer from “motion sickness” take a pill or don’t travel.”

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Cruising Altitude
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This is how high the plane is in the air for the majority of the trip. After taking off the pilot guides the plane up until he feels a certain altitude will be the best for safe travel.

“Once the pilot announces that we’ve reached our cruising altitude you can get up to go to the bathroom.”

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Turbulence
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When there is a lot of wind or there is a storm in the area that you are flying through the plane will bounce around a bit. This is called “turbulence.

“I get a little nervous when there is turbulence while flying. I’m always convinced that the plane is going down!”

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Barf bag
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The small bag provided in the storage area attached to the seat in front of you on the plane. This is for passengers to use if they get sick from the turbulence.

“Grab the barf bag. He’s going to puke!”

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In flight entertainment
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The TV screen available to passengers is called “in flight entertainment”. Usually TV stations are shown or a movie.

“Most people like Jet Blue because there is free in flight entertainment.”

Exercises to Practice These English Expressions:

  • Conversation Listening Activity for Airport Vocabulary
  • Script for Airport Conversation Activity
  • Airport Vocabulary Listening Activity
  • Airport Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks
  • Airport Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks
  • Airport Vocabulary Matching
  • Airport Vocabulary Word Order