Air Travel

Learn key vocabulary related to air travel.

by Tim Martyn

a plane coming in to land

↔  scrollable table

Word/phrase CEFR Definition Example
captain (n.) B1 the person in charge of a plane This is your captain speaking.
security (n.) B1 a place at an airport where officials make sure you don’t have anything illegal in your bags There was a long line at airport security.
budget (adj.) B1 low-cost Budget airlines have made travel within Europe very affordable.
connection (n.) B1 a second (or third, etc.) flight that a passenger takes to continue their journey I missed my connection.
lounge (n.) B1 an area in an airport where passengers can sit and relax while they wait for their flight I like to get to the departure lounge nice and early.
declare (v.) B1+ to tell customs officers at the airport that you’re bringing goods into the country that you might have to pay tax on Do you have anything to declare?
gate (n.) B1+ the place in an airport where passengers get on and off a plane Please proceed to Gate 7.
airline (n.) B1+ a company such as Emirates and British Airways that carries passengers I refuse to fly with budget airlines.
crew (n.) B1+ the people who work on a plane (i.e. pilots and flight attendants) The crew would like to welcome you aboard.
board (v.) B1+ if a plane is boarding, it means that people are allowed to start getting on Flight 571 to London is now boarding.
landing (n.) B2 the action of bringing a plane down to the ground The plane needed to make an emergency landing.
departure (n.) B2 the act of leaving a place We sat in the departure lounge until our flight was called.
take-off (n.) B2 the moment at which a plane leaves the ground I always feel very nervous during take-off.
flight attendant (n.) B2 some who looks after passengers during a flight She’s a flight attendant with Emirates.
terminal (n.) B2 a building at an airport where passengers arrive and leave Your flight leaves from Terminal 1.
descent (n.) B2+ the action of a plane coming down Please fasten your seat belts – we’ve started our descent into Tokyo.
runway (n.) B2+ a long narrow road at an airport from which planes take off (and land) We had to wait on the runway for more than 20 minutes.
altitude (n.) B2+ the height of something above sea level Planes generally fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet.
turbulence (n.) B2+ movement of a plane during flight caused by sudden changes in wind direction Turbulence always makes me feel ill.
upgrade (n.) B2+ when someone is given a better seat than the one they booked I was offered an upgrade when I checked in.
long-haul (adj.) C1 a flight over a very large distance (e.g. London to Sydney) My legs really ache during a long-haul flight.
airfare (n.) C1 the price of a plane ticket Airfares are really expensive at the moment.
stopover (n.) C1 a short stay somewhere to break up a longer flight I had a stopover in Singapore.
surcharge (n.) C1 money that you’re charged in addition to the basic price There’s a surcharge for carry-on luggage.
baggage carousel (n.) C1 a moving belt from which you pick up your bags I had to wait for ages at the baggage carousel.