On arrival in a foreign country, every passenger has to submit to inspection by Customs, Immigration and Health officials. When leaving a country, passengers usually first have their passports inspected. After passing through Passport Control, passengers who are about to board flights find themselves in the final departure lounge of the airport terminal building. Most airports today provide duty-free shops in the final departure lounges. The choice of articles that can be purchased is very varied, ranging from cigarettes and whisky to watches and cameras. The amount of duty-free goods that a passenger can take into another country depends on that country’s laws or regulations. The duty-free allowances for individual destinations are available from the staff operating the duty-free shops. Passengers waiting in the final departure lounge are alerted for their flights by announcements over the PA system, boards giving details of departing flights, or closed-circuit television sets – or a combination of all there. Apart from being given flight number, time of departure, and instruction as to whether or not the flight is boarding, passengers are also informed of the number of the gate from which boarding will commence.
EMBRARAKTION AND TAKE-OFF
Mr. Marshall’s flight – XA101 – is boarding at gate 5. Carrying his briefcase and cabin bag, he walks out of the departure lounge and follows the signs pointing the way to Gate 5. One of the airline’s ground hostesses checks his boarding card at the gate. After a security check, he walks down the airbridge to the open door of the aircraft where the cabin crew are waiting to greet their passengers.
Ground hostess: Your boarding card, please, sir.
Mr. Marshall: Just a minute. Oh, here it is in my pocket.
Ground hostess: Thank you. Please look after it. You’ll need it again on the aircraft. Now, will you please join those passengers queuing over there.
Mr. Marshall: Why, what’s wrong? Some delay?
Ground hostess: Oh, nothing to worry about, sir. It’s just our normal security check. We have to do it these days, but it won’t take more than a few minutes.
Mr. Marshall: Oh, very well then.
Security officer: May I see your hand baggage, please?
Mr. Marshall: Yes, but do be careful. I have a bottle of Scotch in the cabin bag and some important papers in my briefcase.
Security officer: They’ll be all right, sir. Now will you walk between these two posts, please?
Mr. Marshall: What is all this?
Security officer: It’s a detection device that shows us if anyone is carrying any metal.
Mr. Marshall: Fascinating. What was that bell?
Security officer: Have you got something in your right pocket?
Mr. Marshall: Er, yes. My bunch of keys.
Security officer: May I have them, please? Now just walk through again, sir.
Mr. Marshall: No bell. It was the keys that made it ring, then?
Security officer: That’s right, sir. Now, please open your cabin bag and briefcase for me. Oh, here are your keys back.
Mr. Marshall: See, nothing but my duty-free purchases and my papers.
Security officer: That’s all, sir. Thank you for your co-operation. Now please walk down there and board the aircraft.
Air hostess: Good morning, sir. I hope you’ll enjoy your flight. May I see your boarding card?
Mr. Marshall: Here you are. Row 23.
Air hostess: Oh, yes. Let me show you to your seat. This way, please.
Mr. Marshall: I have a window seat.
Air hostess: You did say Row 23?
Mr. Marshall: Yes, that’s right. Row 23 seat A.
Air hostess: Something seems to be wrong. All the window seats are occupied. That gentleman must be in the wrong seat. Please wait here, while I sort it out.
Mr. Marshall: Fine.
Air hostess: It’s all right, sir. That gentleman should have been sitting in the window seat on the other side.
Mr. Marshall: That’s a relief. Now I’ll just put my briefcase and cabin bag in the overhead rack.
Air hostess: I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to keep them on the cabin floor.
Mr. Marshall: Why’s that?
Air hostess: They’re far too heavy. If we ran into some turbulence, they might easily fall out of the rack and hurt someone.
Mr. Marshall: Yes, indeed. I didn’t think.
Air hostess: May I take your coat and put it in the rack for you?
Mr. Marshall: Yes, that’ll be a great help.
Air hostess: There you are, sir. Can you get both your cabin bag and briefcase under the seat?
I could put one near the galley at the rear of the aircraft. It’ll be quite safe.
Mr. Marshall: Oh, there is no need, thanks. There’s lots of room and they’re not in my way at all.
Air hostess: Now please fasten your seatbelt and do not smoke until you see the “No smoking” sign go off.
Mr. Marshall: Are we on schedule?
Air hostess: Yes, sir. We’ll be closing the doors in a few minutes, and then we’ll start taxing to the runway for take-off.
Mr. Marshall: That’s good. Any chance of a drink?
Air hostess: We’ll be taking orders as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off. It won’t be too long to wait.
Mr. Marshall: What’s the weather forecast like?
Air hostess: The captain says that we should have a smooth flight. He expects a slight tailwind, so we ought to arrive a little earlier than our scheduled time.
Mr. Marshall: Great. That’ll give me a little more time to prepare for the conference I’m attending.