airport vocabulary in english

Airport Vocabulary in English

Do you have an upcoming vacation? Have you ever felt lost in an airport trying to use your English? Today’s lesson will give you the most important airport vocabulary in English to help you on your next trip! You’re going to learn the words naturally in context as I explain the meaning with examples.

This lesson is essential for anyone needing to travel more confident in English.

*NOTE: today’s Everyday English lesson on YouTube was 30 minutes earlier than usual. The reason for that?  I am heading to the airport to pick up some family today! Therefore, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to teach you this necessary English vocabulary.

Remember: These lessons are every Tuesday at 8:30 am PST – Los Angeles time zone. So, I hope to see you on my Youtube channel next time.

Today you’re going to learn:

  • important airport vocabulary in English
  • how to travel with more confidence

Let’s review some Airport Vocabulary in English


  • Ticket

The biggest vocabulary mistake I hear my students making:

I bought a flight ticket.

You can say:

I bought a ticket.

I bought a plane ticket.

I bought an airline ticket.

…and the most common:

I bought a flight.

However, you can never say that you have a flight ticket. So, next time you go to an airport make sure you don’t say this combination of words.


Common Phrasal verbs related to Airport


  • Check-in

You check-in when you arrive at the Airport. A check-in is what you do at a counter to show that you are there, then you leave your luggage and print your boarding pass.

  • Drop off

If someone drops you off, they leave you at an airport so you can get your plane. This person can either park or just leave you at the curbside, which means the street or on the curb (*sidewalk*).

  • Pick up

When someone gets you at the airport after your flight, to bring you home, they are picking you up.


More Important Airport Vocabulary


  • Baggage allowance

The amount of luggage (or suitcases) and the weight of the baggage pieces you are allowed to bring on your journey.

  • Carry-on 

A carry-on is the smaller baggage you bring with you on the plane. During the flight, it can stay over your head in the overhead bin or under your seat.

  • Overweight fee

Sometimes a bag weights too much and the weight is over the limit, and the airline can charge you with an overweight fee.

  • Domestic flight

A domestic flight is a flight within your country.

  • Boarding pass

A piece of paper that shows you which terminal and gate you should go to board your plane.

  • Transfer 

Big airports usually have more than one terminal, so you might need to transfer to another terminal with a shuttle.

  • Shuttle

At the airport, this word is often used as a noun and means “bus”. So, you can get a shuttle to go to other terminals, or outside the airport to the city center, for example.

  • Terminal

A terminal is the place where the airplanes arrive or depart. Sometimes an airport can have more than one terminal, so make sure you always check your boarding pass to see your terminal.

  • Gate

This is a place where you go to board the plane.

  • Boarding time 

The verb to board means to get on the plane, so the boarding time is the time that you are supposed to board.

  • Flight attendants 

Flight attendants are the people that assist you on the plane during your flight.

  • Departures and arrivals

Finally, the departures area is where people who are going to get into a flight must go, while the arrivals area is where you can wait for your friends or family when they are arriving from a flight.


Practice makes perfect

You can use the comments area below to write some sentences using all this vocabulary we just reviewed or you can comment on the Youtube video. You can also practice with a friend! Make sure you know all these words for your next flight.

Here are some questions to practice:

  • Are you going to buy any flight soon?
  • Do you often drop people off at the airport?
  • Do you travel with a lot of baggage?
  • Is the airport in your city big? Does it have many terminals?
  • Have you ever missed your boarding time?
  • How often have you had to pay overweight fees?

Happy Studying! ♥

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  1. Gabriel Clark on October 1, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Great post!

    I really like the fact that you’ve included “pick up” and “drop off.” So many people forget those little guys.

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