AIRPORT – podcast episode #17 – transcript

Hi everyone!  We have just uploaded a new episode!  You will learn a lot of words and expressions you may need when you’re at the AIRPORT.

You can listen to the episode “17 AIRPORT” on iTunes or here :


Then read the transcript.  At the end of the transcript, as usual, you will find the definitions of the new interesting words we have used.

Ok, are you ready to fly ??  🙂   Bye, Marta


M – Hello everybody, today we’re goint to take you to the… AIRPORT.

M – Well, listeners, this time Cindy is not here with me, but don’t worry, we will listen to her beautiful voice later on anyway. She’s traveling around the States at the moment, and that’s why I thought of this episode about airplane travel. There’s a lot of vocabulary to revise about it.
Ok, uhm…well, before you even get to the airport, you’d better double check your tickets, all the documents you need to bring along as well as the weight and dimensions of your bags. You don’t want to pay any unforeseen costs for your EXCESS BAGGAGE or miss your flight just because of some silly oversight, do you? No, I’m sure you don’t.

All right, so picture yourself at the airport, embarking on a wonderful vacation or preparing for an important business trip. You’re ready and willing to fly. Well, at least, I would be ’cause I love flying, I always choose a WINDOW SEAT to better enjoy the TAKE OFF, that’s the moment when the plane leaves the ground, as well as the TOUCH DOWN, that is the moment when the plane lands. I really love the view you can see from the window when you fly above the clouds. But some people prefer the AISLE SEAT, because they like the additional leg room or freedom to leave their seat more easily. I’m as far as one can be from being AIRSICK, you know, you’re airsick when you suffer from MOTION SICKNESS. This can happen on boats, cars, planes, amusement rides etc…

Ok, first off, if you’re in The States, your flight can be international or domestic. You need to go to DOMESTIC departures if you fly within the country, or to INTERNATIONAL departures if you fly abroad. Each airport is designed differently, and some can be quite large. Be sure to look carefully at airport monitors for your gate information and don’t be afraid to ask airport personnel for some help. That’s what they’re there for!
Before landing, I always take a look in the seat pocket in front of me for the convenient airport maps located in airline magazines. These diagrams are helpful to familiarize yourself with arrival airports.
It can be a DIRECT FLIGHT or you may have to make a STOPOVER or LAYOVER, that means you have to stop down at more than one airport and switch planes in order to reach your destination.
There’s a lot of CHECKING IN to be done and that’s the boring thing about flying. You need to present your tickets and proper identification with a photo I.D. and check your baggage in. The bigger suitcases are to be stored below the plane. Be sure to check your airline’s baggage allowances online before going! Fees and baggage limits vary greatly and you may be asked to pay for your first or second suitcase depending on the airline’s rules. Check online to avoid unexpected surprises!
Then you need to GO THROUGH SECURITY, together with your CARRY ON BAGS. These are the small bags you take on the plane with you, to be put in the OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT. Most flights allow you one carry on bag and one personal item (like a purse or a computer bag), but even these rules can vary on small commuter planes with weight restrictions.
Security will scan your bags, purses, laptop computers and check for liquids and anything else they find questionable. You may be asked to remove your jacket, belt, shoes, watch and large jewelry for scanning as well. Keep all your liquids or gels (and for women- that means cosmetics!) in a small clear resealable plastic bag for security to check easily.
Then you eventually get to the GATE, where you wait until you can BOARD the aircraft, that is to get on the plane. Of course, you are going to need your BOARDING PASS, the document that lets you enter the plane and your passport or picture identification available as well.

Now it’s time to get in contact with Cindy, hey Cindy, can you hear me?

C – Yes, I can hear you quite well. Hi Marta and hi everyone! I’m back home in The States this month, traveling around and visiting with my family. So, I understand that you’re talking about flights today?

M – Yeah, by the way, could you tell us something about BAGGAGE CLAIM ? I know you’ve had some hard times recollecting your bags more than once… right?

C – Oh, girl, don’t even get me started! Last Christmas, an airline that shall remain nameless, lost my bags for 8 days!!!

But this is common for me, it happens every time I fly- I get get off the plane, go down to BAGGAGE CLAIM to pick up my bags and they never arrive on time. I mean, they always arrive eventually, a day or two later, but I just have them delivered to my hotel. So, for all of you listening- if your bags get lost, don’t worry, just look for the baggage office related to your airline and fill out the proper documentation with all of your contact information. The airport will work hard to get those bags to you as soon as possible. So don’t panic, it’s not such a big deal, believe me- I’m an expert!

***SPECIAL NOTE: DO NOT pack your medications, jewelry, electronics or anything else of value into your checked bags! Keep these items with you at all times and pack them into your CARRY ON suitcase instead. ***

M – Another possible inconvenience about flights is : flying through some TURBULENCE.

C – Turbulance? Well, a margarita will take care of that nicely. But if you’re not a drinker- again, don’t worry. I don’t know the exact statistics, but thousands of planes take off and land safely every day around the world. Wind turbulence is just a normal part of flying. So don’t panic if you feel some “bumps’’ along the journey. The pilot may even illuminate the “FASTEN SEATBELT” sign. Just buckle-up and don’t worry. I’ve been much more afraid riding along inside a car on Italian highways than I ever have in an airplane.

M – You’re right! Cindy, could you remind our listeners about the word COMPLIMENTARY

C – Complimentary- important word. That means “it’s free”. It won’t cost you anything. When you fly on a budget for instance and you purchase a low cost ticket (or an ECONOMY seat) you need to check for what is complimentary and what is not. For instance, you may be offered a complimentary snack, but you may have to pay for any other foods or beverages, and it could be very expensive. Water, soda and a small bag of nuts or crackers are usually free, depending on the duration of your flight. It may be a good idea to “grab a bite’’ (that means to eat something quick) at the airport before your departure.

M – All right, Cindy, that’s it for now, we let you go back to your traveling and to your JET LAG !

C – Oh! Jet lag! Well, that’s another story! There is a 6 hour time difference between Italy and the American East Coast- and my internal clock is still adjusting! It was nice talking with you , everybody! I wish you a great day! Marta, I’ll see you soon, dear! Bye!


M – Ok, listeners, before we go, I want to thank a few of you: Henrietta, Maria, Derek, Darko, Alejandro. And I also wanna thank Skip Montreaux for all his nice words about our podcast. He is running a great podcast too, it’s about business English, if you’re interested, check it out at .

Everybody, come visit us at where you can read the transcript of this episode together with a lot of interesting posts we have already uploaded to help you improve your English.

Of course you still find us on facebook, twitter, iTunes, and but now we also have our blog

See you there! Bye bye!


EXCESS BAGGAGE : Suitcases beyond the normal allowance for that particular flight. Check online with your carrier because these allowances and restrictions can vary greatly.

WINDOW SEAT : A seat located next to a window, preferred by those who enjoy the view.

AISLE SEAT: A seat located on the aisle.

MIDDLE SEAT: Nobody wants this one! It’s the seat located between the window and aisle seats.

TAKE OFF: The period of time when the aircraft accelerates quickly and leaves the runway to take flight.

TOUCH DOWN: The end of the flight when the aircraft decends slowly and makes contact once again with the runway.

MOTION SICKNESS / BEING AIRSICK: A disturbance of the inner ear caused by motion creating nausea, vomiting or dizziness.

DOMESTIC DEPARTURE: A departure that begins and ends in the same country. For example from New York to Los Angeles.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS : Flights that begin in one country but land in another. EXAMPLE: New York to Paris.

DIRECT FLIGHT: A flight that connects from one city or country to another without stopping and switching planes.

STOPOVER or LAYOVER: Stopping in one city for a period of time before switching planes and continuing onto your final destination. ATTENTION: Some airports can be very large and complicated to manuever through. You may have to take a shuttle bus or monorail train to get from one section to another. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time so that you don’t have to run or maybe miss your connecting flight!

CHECK IN (BAGGAGE): The suitcases that are “checked in’’ with airport personnel and stored beneath the plane during flight. Be sure NOT to leave your medications, expensive electronics, jewelry or any items of value in your “check in” bags.

CARRY ON BAGS: The bags you carry with you onto the plane. Example: Purse, computer bag or small suitcase.

GO THROUGH SECURITY: Security is the first stop you make after you are issued your boarding passes. Security can be quite thorough. During security checks, officers will x-ray your carry on bags and personal belongings. You will be asked to show all your boarding passes, identification and pass through a metal detector as well.

OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT: The airplane storage cabinets located above the seats where you are to store your belongings during a flight.

GATE: The numbered doors and passages that connect airport terminals to the planes for departures and arrivals. Example: “ My flight to New York leaves from Terminal 2 at Gate B-10”

TO BOARD: To get on the plane.

BOARDING PASS: The ticket that allows you entrance to the plane. You will not be allowed on a flight without a BOARDING PASS.

BAGGAGE CLAIM: The area of the airport where all suitcases are delivered and passengers can then pick them up from a moving conveyor belt. If your bags do not arrive, go to the baggage office corresponding to your airline company and fill out a “LOST BAGGAGE REPORT”.

TURBULENCE / BUMPY RIDE: “Bumps” in the journey caused by wind.

COMPLIMENTARY: Free. EXAMPLE: On this flight, we offer a complimentary beverage.’’

JET LAG: Exhaustion or confusion brought on by a difference in time between your states or countries of departure and arrival. For example: New York is 6 hours earlier than Rome. 

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