English Across the Curriculum

At The Airport

Airport Terminal

The terminal is the largest building at an airport. All passengers must pass through it when they start or end their trip. At the ticket counter you receive your boarding card and your baggage is checked and weighed . Then the airline assistant will put a label with a three-letter code around your baggage .It shows the destination airport and makes sure the suitcases get on the correct airplane.

While you wait to board your plane you may spend your time at some of the many shops that are at the airport: newsstands , restaurants, gift shops or even banks. Many international airports have duty-free shops. If you are visiting a foreign country, you can buy things there without having to pay duty or import tax. Some airports have an observation lounge where you can look through large windows and watch planes take off and land.

Before you go to your gate you must pass a security area where your passport is checked and your bags are x-rayed and checked for weapons and other things that you are not allowed to take on board. The gate is the place where you leave the airport building to get on your plane. Gates may often be very far away from the centre of the terminal. Moving sidewalks take you to those that are far away. At larger airports you are taken there by bus or train. Big airports may have up to a hundred or more gates. Arriving passengers cannot leave the terminal at once. They first go to baggage claim , a place where you get your baggage after it is unloaded from the plane.

Terminal at Los Angeles Airport

Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport
Image: TimBray at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Duty Free shop at Beijing Airport

Duty-free shop at Beijing international airport
Image: Zhanyanguange, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check-in at Dublin Airport

Self check-in at Dublin Airport
Image: Marek Slusarczyk, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons