English Travel Vocabulary – At the Airport

English Listening Practice Travel Airport Vocabulary 1

English Airport Vocabulary

Learn 50+ Words and Expressions with Listening Practice

Are you headed to the airport soon? We learn a lot of English Airport vocabulary from books and illustrations, but do you feel comfortable using your airport vocabulary in conversation? We’ll take you through a few important places in the airport, explaining the English vocabulary along the way, in naturally spoken English from American and British accents.

Enjoy the Travel Vocabulary: at the Airport English listening practice below:

Welcome to our Daily English Listening Practice on Travel Vocabulary

Please listen to the audio files for explanations. Below are 50+ English words and expressions.

Looking for Transcripts? We’ve got 5 Worksheets + MP3 Downloads + Exercises  to go with our 50 English words and expressions about Travel Vocabulary – at the Airport

Check out the extra notes for over 50 English words and expressions for talking about your time at the Airport.

Notes from the English Listening Practice:

Getting There

  • Catch a flight: Take a scheduled flight
  • Public transport: UK public buses, trains, the underground
  • Underground lines: the specific path a train takes
  • Someone gives me a lift: UK lets me ride in their car
  • Bus line: the specific path a bus takes
  • Off-site: outside of the airport
  • On-site: at the airport
  • Get a ride from my friends: USA Asking your friend to drive you to the airport
  • Rental agency: Usually a car rental agency
  • Uber app: Uber taxi application/service

How to use it:
“Sorry, can’t make it out tonight, I’ve got an early flight in the morning…. Yeah don’t worry I’m getting a lift from my sister…. Yeah, the bus line takes forever because it stops at every terminal, and I’m at the last one.”
“I’m flying out of Heathrow, which is on the other side of London. Fortunately my sister said she’d give me a lift.”

Check In/ Checking your bags/ Your Carry-ons

  • Get dropped off: Arrive at your destination
  • Self-service kiosk: Small touch-screen computer which prints your boarding pass
  • Booking number / reference number: A 6-digit number you enter into the kiosk
  • Scan my passport: Let the computer read your passport
  • Checked baggage: Heavy or large luggage, e.g. a suitcase or big shopping items
  • Carry-on bags: Light or small luggage, e.g. a backpack, briefcase, purse
  • Budget airlines: cheaper airlines that often charge extra for food/luggage or other extras
  • Check their specs: read their specifications or information on how big your items can be
  • A stroller: USA a pushchair for your baby or child
  • Luggage / a suitcase: some luggage (uncountable) / 2,3 suitcases (countable)
  • Check-in Attendant: the person who helps you check-in
  • Interaction: time you spent face-to-face with someone

How to use it:
“I’m a pretty light traveler, my carry-on is the perfect size for everything I need and I only check a bag for trips longer than 3 weeks.”
“I had to move some clothes into my carry-on bag because my checked luggage was over 20 kilos.”


  • Head to security: go towards security
  • Liquids – 3.4 oz – 100 ml
  • TSA agent: American security agents
  • Take your shoes off / take off your shoes
  • Loose change: coins in your pockets
  • Metal detector: a machine that notices if you have metal on your person
  • Full-body scanner: a machine that scans your entire body
  • Pat down: Searched with hands by security officials
  • Taken aside: Stopped and asked some questions
  • Random: Without an pattern or routine
  • Lax: Relaxed, not very strict  

How to use it:
“Hey, can I call you back after I’m through security? Yeah, TSA won’t let me use my phone.”
“It always takes forever to get through security, and make sure you don’t have any liquids in your bag.”

Getting through customs

  • Gotten through security: completed the security process
  • Sit around: usually while waiting for something while bored
  • Boarding process: the structured method for getting people on a plane
  • Security spiel: scripted speech about security
  • Take off: airplane is leaving the ground
  • Land: airplane arrives at the next airport
  • Customs: immigration in a new country
  • Arrival card: card used to gather information about the person traveling
  • Have that ready: prepare something
  • Visa requirements: specific information needed in order to get a visa
  • Consulate: the place you go to apply for and receive a visa
  • Stamp your visa: usually done by immigration officer

How to use it:
“Well, I’ve gotta go through customs, so, if I time it just right and nothing goes wrong with my new visa, I should get in by 10:30.”
“I’m waiting in line at customs now. There’s tonnes of people and only three customs officials working, so I might be a while.”

Getting out of the airport

  • Get through immigration: completed the customs/border patrol process
  • All cleared: no problems with security
  • Nothing to declare: you have no items to tell security about
  • Conveyor belt : a moving band that moves your luggage around
  • Carousel: the area where the conveyor belt moves around
  • Figure it out: solve a problem
  • Arrange a pickup: Reserve or schedule a taxi, car, bus, etc.
  • Come get me: Come and pick me up
  • Meeting point: A designated area to meet friends, hosts, colleagues or drivers
  • Called an Uber: Call and reserve a taxi using Uber
  • Data plan: Mobile data
  • Tourist sim: A mobile sim card designed for short visits

How to use it:
“Are you coming to get me? Great! About 40 more minutes …. Okay all cleared through customs. I’m just gonna grab my luggage. Meet me at carousel 4?….. Okay if you can’t park, I’ll just go to meeting point A outside of Terminal 2”
“I’ve arranged a pick up from the airport that should take me directly to the hotel.”

English Travel Vocabulary for Advanced Students, Advanced English Listening Practice Advanced English vocabularyVocabulary by Subject: Advanced English Vocabulary by Topic

Remember we have 5 X 10-minute Airport Vocabulary worksheets for you to study on your own or teach in your English classroom:

Airports can be a little hectic, but the excitement of travel is the best! Once you make it through security and customs, you’ll be in the clear to have a great time. Any other problems? Let us know in the comments!


Kat and Mark


Thanks https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Politikaner for the use of this airline security photo


Chat with us!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *