If you are taking a plane to travel, normally you will be calling a travel agent and purchasing a ticket. I will not cover this portion because you can do it in your own language. But once you arrive to your English speaking location, you might need to change your flight and talk to English speaking people. More likely, they will have people speaking your language, but just in case, we will cover some general topics about air traveling here.
Confirming your flight
Some airlines require you to call a couple days in advance to confirm your departure date. Here are some sentences you will be asked and what you will need to say.
You: “I would like to confirm my flight.”
Them: “Can I get your ticket number?”
You: “The number is 45-6-43.”
Them: “You are scheduled to depart on June 15th at 1:00 pm. Is this correct?”
You: “Yes it is.”
Them: “Is anybody else traveling with you?”
You: “Yes, my wife.”
Them: “Can I have the other ticket number?”
You: “It is 45-6-44.”
Them: “Your tickets have been confirmed. Please arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight departs. Thank you for calling.”
Some other questions you might hear are similar to the ones you might hear at the airport counter.
“Would you like to book your seats now?”
“Would you like a window seat or an aisle seat?”
“What is your ticket number?”
“What is your last name?”
“What is your first name?”
Here we discuss about reserving a date to depart or changing a departure date
If you have an open-ended ticket or would like to change your departing date, you will have to call and reserve a date to depart.
“I have an open ended ticket and I would like to schedule a departure date.”
“I have a ticket and I need to schedule a departure date.”
“I am scheduled to depart on March 15th. Can I change this to a later date?”
“I have a ticket to depart on March 15th. I would like to see if there is an earlier flight available.”
With any of these questions, the other person will usually ask for your ticket number. After that, they will ask you what date you want to depart.
“What date would you like to depart?”
“What date would you like to change it to?”
“When do you want to depart?”
You should respond by selecting a date.
“I would like to leave on June 22nd.”
“Is June 22nd available?”
“Can you check if June 22nd is possible?”
“I was hoping to reserve a seat for June 22nd.”
After you select a date, they will either say ok, or they will tell you the closest dates available to your selection.
“Yes. We have seats available for the 22nd. Would you like me to reserve them?”
“On the 22nd, the departure time is 1:00pm. Should I reserve them?”
“We have two flights departing on that date. Would you like to depart at 10am or 7pm?”
“I’m sorry, but we do not have any available seats on the 22nd. Should I put you on the waiting list?”
“I’m sorry, there are no departures for the 22nd. We have a flight leaving on the 21st and the 24th. Will either of these days work for you?”
“The 22nd is full. The next available flight is on the 23rd. Would you like me to reserve a seat on that date?”
At the Counter
When you first reach the counter, you should give them your ticket and your passport. The first question they usually ask is how many are traveling with you.
“Is anybody traveling with you today?”
“Is anybody else traveling with you?”
“Are just you two traveling today?”
All airlines have a list of questions they have to ask you. Let’s look at some of these questions.
“Did someone you do not know ask you to take something on the plane with you?”
“Did you have possession of your luggage since you packed?”
“Did you leave your luggage unattended at all in the airport?”
“Are you carrying any weapons or firearms?”
“Are you carrying any flammable material?”
“Do you have any perishable food items?”
If you don’t understand, you can’t say yes or no to all of them. The correct answer for some of them is ‘no’ and some of them is ‘yes’.
“How many luggage are you checking in?”
“Do you have a carry on?”
“Can you place your bag up here?”
“How many carry on bags are you taking with you?”
Afterwards, they might ask if you prefer an aisle seat or a window seat.
“Do you prefer window or aisle?”
If they are out of aisle seats, they will ask you if window is ok.
“We do not have any aisle seats remaining. Is a window seat ok with you or would you prefer a middle seat?”
Some people like to be by the emergency exit. You can ask for that seat.
“Do you have a seat next to the emergency exit?”
“Can I have a seat closest to the emergency exit?”
If they do, then you will get a seat by the exit, but if they don’t, they will try to give you one that is close.
“All the seats next to the exit have been taken. I have a seat directly in front of it. Would you like that one?”
Finally, they will tell you the gate number and the boarding time.
“Here are your tickets. The gate number is on the bottom of the ticket. They will start boarding 20 minutes before the departure time. You should report to gate C2 by then. C2 is around the corner and down the hall. Thank you.”
Finding the Gate
They will usually tell you what gate you should go to, but if you need to ask again, I will provide an example question. Also, you might need to ask someone where the gate is located.
“Which gate did you say it was?”
“What was the gate number again?”
“Can you point me towards the gate?”
“How do I get to the gate again?”
“How do I get to gate C2?”
“Where is gate C2?”
At the Airport – Interactive Practice
Click on Listen All and follow along. After becoming comfortable with the entire conversation, become Person A by clicking on the Person A button. You will hear only Person B through the audio file. There will be a silence for you to repeat the sentences of Person A. Do the same for Person B. The speed of the conversation is native speed. Use the pause button if the pause between each sentence is too fast for you. After practicing several times, you will be able to speak as fast as a native.
A: “Welcome. May I have your tickets?”
B: “Here you go.”
A: “Is anybody else traveling with you two?”
B: “No. It’s just us.”
A: “Do you have your passports with you?”
B: “Yes. Here it is.”
A: “I’m going to ask you a series of questions. Please respond with a yes or a no.”
A: “Did someone you do not know ask you to take something on the plane with you?”
A: “Did you have possession of your luggage since you packed?”
A: “Did you leave your luggage unattended at all in the airport?”
A: “Are you carrying any weapons or firearms?”
A: “Are you carrying any flammable material?”
A: “Do you have any perishable food items?”
A: “Great. Can you place your baggage over here?”
A: “Would you like an aisle or a window seat?”
B: “Window seat please.”
A: “Ok. I am placing you two in 21A and 21B. The gate number is C2. It is on the bottom of the ticket. They will start boarding 20 minutes before the departure time. C2 is located around the corner through the hall. Thank you.”
B: “Can you point me to gate C2?”
A: “Sure. It’s that way. Around that corner.”
B: “Great. Thank you.”