Airport English

Check-In Counter Vocabulary

Going to an airport can be scary if you are learning English. Even if you know a lot of English, it can sometimes be difficult to understand all the questions and conversations in an airport. In this lesson, we will list and explain common questions and problems at the airport check-in counter.

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Going to an airport can be both fun and frightening when you are learning spoken English. You can practice your English at an airport, but it can also be stressful. It is important to use the right words, so you can get on your flight and arrive at your destination safely.

In this lesson, we will cover these topics:

airport English graphic

Questions you may need to ask at an airport

There are many questions you may need to ask at an airport.

  • Where is the check-in counter for _______ Airlines?

  • Is my flight on time?

  • How long is my flight delayed?

    (delayed = late; In other words, your flight is not going to arrive on time.)

  • Where is the bathroom?

  • Where is the Internet lounge?

  • Where is the smoker's lounger?

  • Can I get a window seat?

  • Can I get an aisle seat?

  • Where can I find a taxi?

  • Where can I find a bus?

  • Where is the baggage claim?

    (Where can I collect my luggage/baggage?)

  • When should I be at the departure gate?

  • Where is the departure gate?

  • Is my connecting flight on time?

    (A connecting flight is when you take at least two different airplanes to get to your destination. You are asking if the second flight is going to be on-time. If it is late, you might have a long wait at the second airport. If it is early, you might miss the flight because you didn't get to the second airport on time.)

airport sign

Questions you may hear at an airport check-in counter

These are some common questions you may hear at the check-in counter.
  • May I see your ticket?

    (The worker may also say, "Ticket, please.")

  • What's your purpose for traveling?

    (What is your reason for traveling? The worker wants to know if you are traveling for business or pleasure.)

  • Do you have a photo-ID?

    (driver's license, passport)

  • Are you checking any bags? 

    (These are larger bags that the airline will store under the plane for you.)

  • How many bags are you checking?

  • Do you have a carry-on bag?

    (This is a small bag you take with you on the plane such as a purse, small suitcase, or laptop bag.)

  • Do you require any special assistance?

    (Do you require a wheelchair, help carrying your bags, or other help?)

  • Did you pack these bags yourself?

  • Did you, at any time, leave your bag unattended?

    (Did you leave your bag by itself. This is a security risk because someone could put something in your bag. So, the airline wants to be sure you know what is in your bag.)

  • Are you traveling with any liquids?

    (Do you have any liquids in your bags such as shampoo, deodorant, or drinks?)

  • Is there anything fragile in your bags?

    (fragile = breakable)

  • What is your final destination?

  • Would you like a window seat or an aisle seat?

  • Do you have any special eating requirements? 

Problems at the check-in counter

Sometimes, there are problems at the check-in counter. Here are some problems you might hear at the airport check-in counter.
  • Your luggage/baggage is too heavy. 

    (You have to remove some items to make it lighter.)

  • Your bag is too large. 

  • Your carry-on bag is too large.

  • Your flight is delayed.

    (It is late.)

  • Your connecting flight is delayed.

  • Your passport has expired.

    (expired = The date has passed. You need a new passport.)

  • Your ID (identification) has expired.

  • Your flight has been canceled.

    (If your flight is canceled, you have to book a new flight.)

  • Your connecting flight is canceled.

  • Your ticket has expired.

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