English Vocabulary
at the Airport


Going to an airport and flying on a plane can be scary and stressful when you are learning English. Even if you know a lot of English, it may be hard to understand all the new words you will hear in airports. In this lesson, you will learn English vocabulary words commonly heard at the airport and on the airplane.

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Going to an airport can be both fun and frightening when you are learning spoken English. That is why we put together this list of English airport vocabulary words! These vocabulary words will help you at the airport and on the airplane.



At the airport

  • airfare (noun)
    the cost of the plane ticket

  • airline (noun)
    the company that owns the plane

  • arrival / arrivals (noun)
    the time planes arrive at the airport

  • baggage / luggage (noun)
    bags or suitcases

  • baggage claim (noun)
    the place where passengers pick up their bags after the plane lands

  • board (verb)
    when the passengers get on the plane

  • boarding pass (noun)
    a ticket that gives you permission to board the plane; some airlines allow you to use a boarding pass on your cell phone

    A boarding pass usually has your name, flight number, and departure date and time. 

  • boarding time (noun)
    the time that passengers are allowed to get on the plane

  • carry-on / hand luggage / cabin baggage (noun)
    bags that passengers bring on the plane (called "carry-on" in North America)

  • customs (noun)
    the place in the airport where bags are checked before you are allowed to enter a country

  • departure time / departures (noun)
    the time planes leave the airport

  • e-ticket (noun)
    airfare purchased on the Internet

  • fragile (adjective)
    something that is easily broken (sometimes passengers pack fragile items in their bags)

  • delay (noun)
    the amount of time the plane is late for landing or takeoff (a two-hour delay means the plane will arrive two hours later than planned)

  • domestic (adjective)
    within the same country (a domestic flight)

  • gate (noun)
    the place where passengers wait to board the plane

  • identification (noun)
    documents that prove a person's name and personal information (address, birth date, phone number, social security number, etc.)

  • international (adjective)
    worldwide (an international flight)

  • layover / stopover (noun)
    a period of waiting between flights

  • overbooked (adjective)
    the airline sold too many tickets; there are more passengers than seats

  • passport (noun)
    an official document that proves a person's citizenship

  • runway (noun)
    a strip of smooth ground where an airplane takes off and lands

On the plane

  • aisle (noun)
    the empty walkway between rows of seats on the plane

  • aisle seat (noun)
    a seat by the aisle

  • business class (noun / adjective)
    the area where people who are traveling for business sit; it is sometimes the same as first-class

  • cabin (noun)
    interior (inside) of the airplane

  • captain (noun)
    the person who flies the plane and is in charge of the plane

  • cockpit (noun)
    the part of the plane where the captain and co-pilot sit to fly the plane

  • complimentary (adjective)
    free; it does not cost any money

  • co-pilot (noun)
    the pilot who helps the captain fly the plane

  • economy class / coach class (noun / adjective)
    the lowest class of traveling; economy tickets are the cheapest tickets

  • emergency exits (noun)
    the part of the plane that opens and passengers can exit during an accident

  • first-class (noun / adjective)
    more expensive tickets with better seating and more services; first-class has bigger seats than economy or coach class

  • life vest (noun)
    a safety device used during an emergency landing in water

  • overhead bin / overhead compartment (noun)
    a place to store carry-on bags above the passenger seats

  • oxygen mask (noun)
    a safety device that gives passengers oxygen during an accident

  • pilot (noun)
    the person who flies the plane

  • row (noun)
    a line of seats on the plane from the aisle to the window

  • seatbelt (noun)
    a safety device that holds passengers in their seats

  • steward / flight attendant (noun)
    a man who takes care of passengers on the plane

  • stewardess / flight attendant (noun)
    a woman who takes care of passengers on the plane

  • takeoff (noun / verb)
    when the plane leaves the ground

  • touchdown (noun / verb)
    when the plane lands on the ground

  • turbulence (noun)
    movement in the air that causes a rough flight

  • window seat (noun)
    a seat by the window

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