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Paige: You're listening to Coffee with Gringos. I'm Paige Sutherland.

Mariah: And I'm Mariah Wika. Welcome back to the podcast. This week, we are talking about vocabulary that you use in an airport. All over the world, whether you're traveling to Thailand or Russia or the United States, English is a really useful language to be able to use in the airport because it's sort of the go-to language if you don't speak the language in that country. So, we know that being in an airport can include lots of different scenarios, so today, Paige and I will be very dramatically and realistically acting out typical scenarios in an airport. As you listen, if you get lost, the transcript and vocabulary guide are on the website to help you out, as always.

Paige: So, this first scenario will be the first thing that you generally do when you get to the airport, and that is check-in.

Mariah: Yep, so, in this scenario, I will be the airline representative, and Paige will be checking in for her flight.

Paige: And I'm flying to Australia!

Mariah: Oh that's exciting, nice.

Mariah: Good morning! Where are you headed today?

Paige: Melbourne, Australia.

Mariah: Okay, fabulous. Can you please hand me your passport.

Paige: Okay, yeah! Here is my US passport, and here is my ticket.

Mariah: Perfect, just need to see some identification to check you in. Okay, perfect. So you're taking the 3 PM flight to Melbourne.

Paige: Yep. It is JetBlue I believe.

Mariah: Yep, exactly. You've got that right. So, from what I see on the computer, you have a layover in Tokyo. Please be sure that you re-check your bags there. So, you'll need to pick up your bags and re-check them through customs in Tokyo, and then they'll be put on your next flight.

Paige: Okay! And what seat do I have?

Mariah: Your seat is 34B.

Paige: Is that an aisle seat or a window seat?

Mariah: That's a middle seat.

Paige: Oh! The worst! Is there any way I could change that to a window seat?

Mariah: You can upgrade it for an additional cost. Are you interested in upgrading your seat?

Paige: How much that would be?

Mariah: That would be about fifty dollars.

Paige: I'll stick to the middle! Hopefully I have some nice passengers next to me.

Mariah: Perfect. Okay, so... again, you're seat 34B. Could you please put your luggage on the scale?.

Paige: Yeah, so since I'm going to Australia, I packed a bit, so I hope it's not overweight!

Mariah: Do you have just one checked bag, or do you have two?

Paige: Ah, just one.

Mariah: Okay, just one checked bag. Perfect. Oh, it's not overweight! It's perfect, so you're in luck.

Paige: Woof!

Mariah: Oh and do you have a luggage tag on their with your identification information?

Paige: I do! Yeah. And I'll just have one carry-on.

Mariah: Fabulous. Sounds good. Excellent. We will send your bags through, and here's your boarding pass, and this also includes your luggage tag. And so if your luggage gets lost, this little bar code on your boarding pass is to track it.

Paige: Okay! And where is security?

Mariah: To get to security, just head to the right, and at the end of the hallway there is security for international departures.

Paige: Okay, perfect! Well, thank you so much!

Mariah: Have an excellent flight! Take care.

Paige: Thank you.

Paige: So that was your typical scenario of checking in to a flight. So, now are doing post security. We're at the gate and ready to fly. So, again, to keep it consistent. I'm going to be the passenger, and Mariah will be the airline person.

Mariah: I'm still your friendly airline representative!

Paige: And, go!

Mariah: Passengers for flight 432 to Tokyo, we are currently experiencing a delay of three hours. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Paige: Aw man, so how long is this going to be? The delay?

Mariah: I'm so sorry ma'am, but it looks like the flight will be delayed about three hours.

Paige: About three hours... I have a connecting flight from Tokyo to Melbourne that will be roughly three hours after I was supposed to land. Is there any other earlier flight I can take to get to Tokyo to make that leg?

Mariah: Right, so you have a short layover... okay. Let me check and see the options. Unfortunately, it looks like there is an earlier flight, but that flight is full. There's no availability on that flight. It's fully booked. And so, you know, I would suggest that you stick with your original flight, and hopefully our airline representatives can help you to make your flight once you're in Tokyo.

Paige: Do you know if there's another flight from Tokyo to Melbourne that's a little later that maybe I could catch.

Mariah: So you're wondering if we could re-book you onto that later flight? Let me see. You know, I actually think that that could be possible. Let's see. So, right now, your flight from Tokyo to Melbourne is tomorrow morning at 5 AM, but let's try to book you onto the 6:30 AM flight, and then you should just have a little bit more flexibility in terms of making that flight.

Paige: Okay, well thank you so much! With this delay, I was getting so nervous that I wouldn't make my next flight.

Mariah: Of course. So, let's just clarify. And I'll print out a version of your new flight plan. So, now you'll take this original flight and then once you're in Tokyo, you'll take the slightly later flight. And be sure that once you're there, to get your new boarding pass. Unfortunately, we cannot issue your boarding pass from here.

Paige: Okay well thank you. This was very, very helpful. I can't wait to be up in the air soon.

Mariah: No problem. And thank you for your patience.

Paige: Thank you!

Mariah: That's a typical situation that might happen at the gate, right? Where you have a problem, and you talk to the airline representative, and hopefully they can accommodate you and try to help you solve the issue. Sometimes we have better luck than others, right?

But now, we've arrived to Australia, and we need to go through customs... Just like the last scenario, I'm your helpful airline representative or actually now I'm part of the security team at the Melbourne airport, and Paige has just arrived.

Mariah: Welcome to Australia! Can I see your identification please?

Paige: Of course. Here's my US passport, and here's my ticket.

Mariah: Perfect, perfect. Thank you. Excellent. And, how long will you be staying here in Australia?

Paige: I will be in the Melbourne area for about a week and then travelling for about two more weeks. So in total, about three weeks.

Mariah: So the purpose of your visit is tourism.

Paige: Just vacation, yes.

Mariah: Okay, so you don't have a work visa or anything like that. Okay, excellent. And are you travelling alone today?

Paige: I am, yeah.

Mariah: Alright, great. And, I know that you said you're here for the purpose of tourism. Do you mind giving me an address for where you'll be staying?

Paige: Yeah, so the first night I'll be staying at the W Hotel. It's on the main street of downtown Melbourne.

Mariah: Alright, perfect. Thank you. Thanks again, and have a really great time in Australia!

Paige: Okay! Thanks so much. That was easy.

Paige: So, I arrived in Melbourne. We went through your stereotypical customs. They ask you a few basic questions about your purpose, how long you're here. And now... you're almost out of the airport, you just have to get your bags.

Mariah: Gotta go to baggage claim, look for the right carousel... but, Paige's bag didn't make it.

Paige: Damn Australia.

Mariah: So, now we're going to go through a scenario that everybody dreads... the lost luggage scenario. Just like last time, I'm helping Paige out, Paige is our passenger.

Paige: So, it says Carousel 4 from Tokyo to Melbourne... Okay, so... huh, I've been waiting here for 30 minutes, and I do not see my bag. This is not looking too good. Excuse me miss...

Mariah: Yeah, how can I help you today?

Paige: I had one checked bag from the flight from Tokyo to Melbourne, and I've been waiting at the carousel for 30 minutes, and I haven't seen it. Here's my baggage ticket.

Mariah: Perfect, than you so much. Let me look in the system to see where your bag might be. You know... it looks like because your connecting flight was changed that your bag didn't make it onto that flight with you because your flight was changed. And so unfortunately, it would appear that your bag is still at the airport in Tokyo. That being said, we can definitely get it on the earliest flight possible, but it's probably not going to arrive until tomorrow morning.

Paige: Is there any way that the airport can bring it to my hotel. I'll be in downtown Melbourne for the week, so if you could bring it there, that would be perfect.

Mariah: Yeah, absolutely. We'll definitely need your contact information, your cell phone, your e-mail, and the airport will be able to have a representative bring your baggage to you downtown. We're very sorry for the inconvenience.

Paige: It looks like I'm not brushing my teeth tonight...

Mariah: I know, I'm sure you must be frustrated, but we apologize, and we'll do anything we can to solve this as soon as we possibly can.

Paige: Well, I'm just glad that it's not lost permanently.

Mariah: It's not permanently lost, and it will arrive here by early tomorrow morning, and we'll have a person head out to deliver that to you as soon as possible.

Paige: Okay, well thank you. You've been very helpful! Have a good day!

Mariah: No problem. Take care.

Paige: Okay, so those were some basic scenarios that you might have to encounter at an airport, right? You check in, you might have a weather delay... you might have to change your flight, you go through customs and baggage claim - hopefully it's better than what this scenario was.

Mariah: There are plenty of unpredictable situations in an airport, but if you have just a little bit of basic English vocabulary, you're really going to be able to handle those situations well, so we hope this was useful for you today and that you'll have it in mind the next time that you're at the airport. Thanks so much for listening, and we'll talk to you soon!


Airline (noun) - the company that you’re flying with

Example: My favorite airline to fly with is Southwest. I think that they have excellent customer service.

Where are you headed today? (phrase) - where are you going?

Example: Good morning! Where are you headed today?

Check in (phrasal verb) - to register at the airport, check your bags, and get your boarding pass

Example: It’s important to check in at least two hours before an international flight.

Hand me ____ (phrase) - give me, pass me

Example: Can you please hand me your passport?

You’ve got that right (phrase) - you’re correct

Example: You’ve got that right, you’re flying JetBlue.

Layover (noun) - when you have to stop somewhere and take another plane, also called a stopover

Example: Paige has a stopover in Japan on her way to Australia.

Recheck (verb) - to check your bags again

Example: You'll need to pick up your bags and recheck them through customs in Tokyo, and then they'll be put on your next flight.

Pick up (phrasal verb) - obtain, to go get

Example: You need to pick up your bags in Tokyo.

Customs (noun) - duties or taxes that a country has for imports or exports, the section of the airport where you declare any new items you’re bringing into a country

Example: Usually, going through customs is an easy process if you have nothing to declare.

Window seat (noun) - the seat closest to the window

Example: The window seat is the best because you can see the amazing scenery outside of the plane. You can also lean against the side of the plane to sleep!

Aisle (noun) - a passage between sections of seat

Example: It’s really important to keep your feet out of the aisle so that the flight attendants can easily move throughout the plane.

Aisle seat (noun) - the seat closest to the aisle

Example: An aisle seat is great during a long flight because you can get up and use the bathroom whenever you want!

Middle seat (noun) - the seat in between the aisle seat and the window seat

Example: The middle seat is definitely the worst seat because there’s very little space.

Upgrade (verb) - to improve or move up

Example: To upgrade to an aisle seat, you need to pay an additional fee.

I'll stick to ______ (phrase) - I’ll stay with my original decision

Example: I’ll stick with the middle seat!

Passenger(s) (noun) - the people on a plane

Example: Sometimes, really big flights can have hundreds of passengers.

Luggage/Baggage (noun) - the things that you bring with you when you travel, this includes your hand luggage and checked luggage

Example: He always travels with a lot of luggage. He often has at least three bags!

Scale (noun) - the machine used to weigh luggage

Example: Could you please put your luggage on the scale?

Overweight (adjective) - too heavy

Example: I packed a lot, so I hope my luggage isn’t overweight!

Boarding pass (noun) - your ticket to board the plane

Example: We’ll be boarding in five minutes. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready.

Delayed (adjective) - late

Example: Flight 342 is delayed by three hours.

Connecting flight (noun) - when passengers change from one plane to another plane

Example: Paige has a connecting flight from Japan to Melbourne.

Roughly (adverb) - approximately

Example: I have a connecting flight from Tokyo to Melbourne that will be roughly three hours after I was supposed to land.

To book (verb) - to reserve

Example: Let's try to book you onto the 6:30 AM flight.

Purpose (noun) - intention

Example: Is the purpose of your visit tourism?

Baggage Claim - the part of the airport where you pick up your checked luggage

Example: We just got off our plane, and now we’re headed to baggage claim to pick up our suitcases!

Carousel - the specific conveyor belt where you pick up your luggage

Example: Baggage from Flight 374 from Mexico City is at Carousel 10.

Didn’t make it (phrase, informal) - didn’t arrive

Example: I’m so sorry, your bag didn’t make it to Melbourne.