Beginner Dialogues - At the Airport

Airport Terminal
Airport Terminal. Julie Margetson / Eyeem / Getty Images

You can expect polite questions when checking-in, going through customs and boarding plans at the airport. Private questions are asked with 'can' and 'may'. Study vocabulary related to travel to help you prepare you for speaking English in airports.  Practice these dialogues with a partner. Remember to always be polite in airports - especially when speaking to customs officials and security officers.

They don't like jokes! Finally, some countries ask you to declare presents and other items you have bought in other countries when you return home. 

Checking In

Assistant: Good morning. Can I have your ticket, please?
Passenger: Here you are.
Assistant: Thank you. Would you like smoking or non-smoking?
Passenger: Non-smoking, please.
Assistant: Would you like a window or an aisle seat?
Passenger: An aisle seat, please.
Assistant: Do you have any baggage?
Passenger: Yes, this suitcase and this carry-on bag.
Assistant: Here's your boarding pass. Have a nice flight.
Passenger: Thank you.

Going through Security

Security officer: Next!
Passenger: Here's my ticket.
Security officer: Please step through the scanner.
Passenger: (beep, beep, beep) What's wrong?!
Security officer: Please step to the side. 
Passenger: Certainly.
Security officer: Do you have any coins in your pocket?
Passenger: No, but I have some keys.

Security officer: Ah, that's the problem. Put your keys in this bin and walk through the scanner again.
Passenger: Okay.
Security officer: Excellent. No problem. Remember to unload your pockets before you go through security next time.
Passenger: I'll do that. Thank you.
Security officer: Have a nice day.


Passport Control

Passport official: Good morning. Can I see your passport?
Passenger: Here you are.
Passport official: Thank you very much. Are you a tourist or on business?
Passenger: I'm a tourist.
Passport official: That's fine. Have a pleasant stay.
Passenger: Thank you.

At Customs

Customs official: Good morning. Do you have anything to declare?
Passenger: I'm not sure. I have two bottles of whiskey. Do I need to declare that?
Customs official: No, you can have up to three liters.
Passenger: Great.
Customs official: Have you brought any food into the country?
Passenger: Just some cheese I bought in France.
Customs official: I'm afraid I'll have to take that.
Passenger: Why? It's just some cheese.
Customs official: Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring cheese into the country. I'm sorry.
Passenger: That's strange! Oh well. Here you are.
Customs official: Thank you. Anything else?
Passenger: I bought a t-shirt for my daughter.
Customs official: That's fine. Have a nice day.
Passenger: You, too. 

Important Questions and Phrases

Can I have your ticket?
Can I see your passport?
Are you a tourist or on business? - Asked at customs to find out the purpose of your visit
Do you have anything to declare? - Sometimes people need to declare things they have bought in other countries
Have you brought any food into the country?

- Some countries do not allow certain foods to be brought into the country
Please step through the scanner. - Asked when passing through metal detectors at the airport
Please step to the side. - Asked if a security officer needs to ask further questions

Key Vocabulary

smoking, non-smoking
window, aisle seat
baggage, suitcase, carry-on bag
boarding pass
tourist, business

Vocabulary Check Quiz

Provide a word from the dialogues to fill in the gaps. 

  1. Could I please see your __________ before you get on the airplane?
  2. Please put your keys in the ________ and walk through the _________.
  3. Do you have any __________?
  4. Can I see your ___________? Are you a __________ or on business?
  5. Do you have anything to _____________? Any presents or alcohol? 
  6. Please ________ to the side and empty your pockets.
  7. Would you like smoking or __________?
  1. Would your prefer an __________ seat or a ___________?
  2. I have one suitcase and a _______________.
  3. Have a nice _______.


  1. boarding pass
  2. bin / scanner
  3. baggage / luggage / bags
  4. passport / tourist
  5. declare
  6. step
  7. non-smoking
  8. aisle / window
  9. carry-on bag
  10. flight / trip / day

More Beginning Dialogues