Airport Phrases and Expressions You Need To Know

Ugo Ezendukareviewed byKateryna Protsenko / more about Editorial Process12 min
Created: Sep 20, 2022Last updated: Dec 26, 2023

Traveling is one of the most popular pastimes among people worldwide. It is fascinating and valuable since you are not just enjoying new places but also learning something on every trip. And to feel more comfortable in your next journey, it is essential to remember some basic words that you can use on every step of your trip. Today, we are going to tell you about expansive English airport vocabulary.

Visiting a new country can be stressful if you are not prepared for it. And since almost every travel starts from the airport, you need to know what to expect at this stage. Our comprehensive guide will help you to deal with every conversation, from the check-in desk to the plane, and remember basic airport vocabulary that will become handy. So fasten your belts, and we are going to start!

Step 1. Confirming the flight

The first thing you do when planning a trip is to buy a ticket to the country you’ll visit. When flying from your motherland, you can expect all conversations in your native language. But when purchasing a ticket in a foreign country, you need to learn some English airport words for different circumstances. 

Some companies require passengers to confirm their flights. It is not a necessary step, but in case you face such a situation, you have to learn some basic expressions and airport questions you may hear. Let’s take a look at the most common ones: 

  • I want to confirm my flight. You can say this phrase first to explain the reason for your inquiry. Usually, flight confirmations are available over the phone, so it will be easier for you to deal with them if you are not fully confident in your skills. 
  • Can you tell me your ticket number? When the person you are talking to understands the reason for your request, they will ask you for your boarding pass number. It will provide them with complete information about you, your traveling destination, etc. 
  • The number is… It is a proper answer to the previous question. Keep your ticket beside yourself to quickly find its number. After that, the consultant will tell you the departure date to confirm everything is correct. 
  • Are you traveling with anybody else? When you clarify all the details, they may ask you about people that you can possibly travel with. Usually, it is necessary to confirm all the tickets at once. 
  • Yes, I’m traveling with…/No, I’m traveling alone. If you are going on a trip alone, you can just say no to the abovementioned question. And if you have a company, provide the details about every person accompanying you. 
  • Your tickets are confirmed. After providing all the necessary information, you will be notified that your tickets have been verified. It means you can be sure that everything with the flight is alright and start preparing for your trip.

These are the most widespread airport terminology phrases you can hear when confirming your flight. It is good to remember them to be prepared for the next conversation. Now, when you know that everything is okay with the tickets, it is time to move to the next stage.

Step 2. Airport expressions for counter check-in

When the flight date comes, it is time to move to the airport. Foremost, remember one basic rule – arriving three hours before the flight is better to have time to solve all the issues. The first thing waiting for you there is a counter check-in. It is an integral part of any airport, and it has its terms and phrases you need to remember. Let’s take a look at the classic check-in conversation:

  • Can I see your ticket and ID card, please? The check-in officer will ask you this question first. They need to collect this information to confirm your identity and see your flight details. You can say “Sure,” “Here you go,” or any other affirming phrase. 
  • Is anybody else traveling with you today? When confirming your flight, you’ve already heard this question, but the check-in officer probably doesn’t know about it. So, once again, you need to provide the information about your company. 

The check-in officers must also ask you a list of questions before your flight. Usually, they are connected to security, so it is important to provide honest answers. Here are the most common questions you can hear:

  • Did someone you don’t know ask you to take something on the plane with you? This question is meant to prevent unacceptable things from getting on board. For example, a person can ask you to take a bag with you, which can contain drugs, weapons, or other dangerous stuff. 
  • Did you leave your baggage unattended at all in the airport? Another security question similar to the previous one. It is essential to avoid situations where you leave your luggage unwatched, since someone can use it to take dangerous things on the plane. 
  • Are you carrying any weapons? It is a standard question a security officer asks you at the check-in counter. And we know how much you want to respond with a joke to it, but it is better to abstain from it. 
  • Do you have anything to declare? You must pay taxes for many things to bring them to the country. That is why you can often hear this question from the check-in officer – to prevent the illegal import of a particular category of products. 

Those are the main questions you can hear from the check-in officer. As you can see, they are primarily about security and your flight details. In addition, they can ask you about your luggage and your preferable seat (if you have an open ticket) and provide you with the gate number and boarding time. That is why it is essential to remember all these airport terms to avoid misunderstandings. 

Step 3. Airport phrases for finding the gate

After going through the registration and the security check, you can start looking for your gate. There are usually many pointers that can help you to navigate, but if you still experience some problems, you can use some words from the airport vocabulary we’ve prepared for you:

  • Which gate did you say it was? If you didn’t hear the check-in officer right, you could ask them again using this phrase. 
  • What was the gate number again? As in the previously mentioned situation, this expression will come in handy if you are not confident that you hear the information about the gate correctly. 
  • Can you point me toward the gate? You can ask for directions if you don’t know where the entrance is. This question is suitable for conversation with the security officer or passengers at the airport. 
  • How do I get to gate number X? Another way to ask for help finding the gate or the right directions. It is also suitable for different conversations with employees and airport passengers. 

With our airline vocabulary, you will easily find your gate or ask strangers to help and point you in the right directions. Once it’s done, you can wait for your flight and listen to some important announcements. And that is the topic we are going to cover next. 

Step 4. The gate announcements – essential aviation vocabulary list

Every airport has many terminals, and every terminal has plenty of gates. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a gate is a place where passengers are allowed to get on or off a particular aircraft. In layman’s terms, it is a place where you can enter or leave the plane after landing.

The aviation vocabulary list is extensive, and you can hear many words and phrases in the announcements at the gate. Remember some of them to understand everything on your next flight quickly. So, what exactly can you hear when waiting for boarding? Let’s find out together. 

  • There has been a gate change. Pay attention to this one if you want to get on your plane. This phrase means that the flight will leave from a different gate. 
  • Flight X to New York is now boarding. When you hear this announcement, it’s time to get in line, since boarding begins on the specified flight.
  • Flight X has been delayed due to weather conditions. If you hear this airport terminology dictionary phrase regarding your flight, you must wait some time to get on board. Most airlines don’t want to endanger their passengers, and they postpone some flights if there are serious reasons. 
  • Flight X has been canceled. Unlike the previous one, these airport phrases are rarer, and you can only hear them in extreme cases. Nevertheless, it is possible to cancel a flight, so listen carefully to the announcements so that you know how to act in such a case. 

Those are the most widespread airport expressions you can hear at the gate. And once again, learning them all can help you to feel more confident on your next flight and efficiently deal with any issues. 

Step 5. Inside-the-plane vocabulary

Congratulations! You have talked to the security officer at the airport check-in, found your gate, learned some important information from the announcements, and now you are finally on the plane. Your trip is about to begin, and the flight attendant will make some safety announcements to prepare passengers. Here is what it usually looks like:

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Mr./Mrs. X, on behalf of captain Name and the entire crew, welcome aboard X Airlines flight Destination. You can expect a non-stop service from … to … and then to … .

Our flight time will be this number of hours and minutes. We will be flying at an altitude … meters/feet, at a ground speed of … miles/kilometers per hour.

Make sure your seat backs are in their full upright position, and your seat belts are correctly fastened. Also, please set your portable devices to airplane mode until further announcement. Thank you. 

It is the standard speech you can hear from flight attendants when the flight begins. After that, the steward or stewardess will do the safety demonstration themselves or show you the video, if the airlines provide this option. When everything is done, you can enjoy your flight. 


Bonus! English vocabulary for the airport

Now that you know general phrases you can use throughout your trip, it is time to learn some of the most critical components at the airport vocabulary list. Here are some essential words you need to remember:

  • Airline – the company that owns the plane you will be flying on. Usually, the name of a company provides information about its original country – Turkish Airlines, British Airways, etc. 
  • Arrivals – the place where you go after the plane lands. 
  • Aisle seat – the seat on the plane by the aisle. They are usually offered at the check-in counter. 
  • To board (a plane) – to go onto the plane.
  • To book (a ticket) – to reserve the seat in advance.
  • Business class (or first class) – a plane area usually used by people on a business trip. Most often it provides a superior level of comfort.
  • Carry-on bag – small baggage you can take on the plane with you. 
  • Check-in bag – large luggage that you check in to the luggage department. 
  • To check in – to provide information about yourself before the flight to the security officer. 
  • Customs – place where you provide the same information as at the check-in, but at the arrival airport. 
  • Delayed flight – the flight that will depart at a different time. 
  • Domestic trip – the trip inside the country (ex., from New York to Miami).
  • Economy class – a plane area with lower prices for seats.
  • Flight – journey by plane.
  • Gate – a door that leads to different flights. 
  • ID (Identification) – an official document that confirms a person’s identity. 
  • Long-haul flight – a flight that lasts for a long time. 
  • One-way ticket – that has a departure date but no return date.
  • Stopover – a short stop in the middle of a long-haul flight. 
  • Turbulence – air movements that can be a reason for the rough flight.
  • Window seat – opposite the aisle seat, a seat by the window. 

Learning this vocabulary for airport English conversations can help you to travel alone and quickly solve all the problems and issues you can face during your journey. These are the most widely used words you can hear in every part of the globe, whatever your final destination is. So, check this airport English vocabulary list to boost your confidence and strengthen your communication skills. 

How to learn the airport vocabulary with Promova?

If you are not ready to learn all the terms by yourself, you can always seek help from professional tutors. Promova is a platform that provides you with everything you need for a comfortable studying process. Here you can find experienced tutors that will gladly help students of any level of language proficiency. So if you want to be ready for the next time at the airport, learn English vocabulary with Promova! 

And for those who prefer to study alone, there is a convenient Promova app suitable for different devices. All you have to do is to install the application on your phone or tablet and start to learn the topic you are interested in. If you want to prepare for the flight, you can find many helpful airport vocabulary exercises, new words, and more. So don’t waste your time, and install the Promova now to shine on your next journey!


As we mentioned, traveling can be challenging, especially if you do it alone and are unsure about your communication skills. Luckily, we have the solution for you. Use this airport words vocabulary on every flight, and you won’t even notice how quickly your language level increases.   


What are the main stages of air travel?

Air travel comprises a few stages – confirming your flight, check-in counter, security check, finding the gate, boarding, and landing. Every step requires some basic knowledge of the airport vocabulary, so make sure you are ready for it. 

How to learn the English airport vocabulary quickly?

If you want to learn it by yourself, you can start by installing a convenient English-learning app, like Promova, on your phone or exploring the lessons on the Internet. If you need help on the airport vocabulary learning, find experienced tutors offline, or online that would be happy to help you. 

What are the main announcements at the gate?

According to the Dictionary, an announcement is a short public message announcing something. You can usually hear announcements about boarding, landing, flight cancellations, or delays at the airport gates. Paying attention to such statements is necessary since they may concern the details of your flight.

What are the main questions at the airport check-in?

The check-in counter is an integral part of every airport, and the question list is similar in most countries. The security officer can ask you to provide information about your identity, tickets, people traveling with you, and your luggage. Also, they may ask you some security questions – to prevent any dangerous situations on the plane.


Just Mollie Sep 27th, 2023
i never realized how essential these airport phrases could be until I read this article
JuliaJun 27th, 2023
Kudos to the author for compiling such a comprehensive list of airport phrases and expressions. It's a fantastic guide for travelers, ensuring smoother communication and a more enjoyable airport experience.