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Sitting in the airport's transit lounge, Mr. Marshall is thinking of all the problems. Can they get home quicker by any other means? Will they be stranded for the night and obliged to stay at a hotel? Will the airline give them meals at the airport? Just then the International Airlines airport manager walks into the lounge and goes over to the stranded passengers.

Manager: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please? Because we cannot fly you on to London yet, we are going to take you to a nearby hotel where International Airlines invites you to be their guests at dinner. There are a few formalities to go through first, and my ground receptionists will tell you all individually what has to he done.

Mr. Marshall: Oh, dear, we do seem, to have a lot of problems.

Mrs.Marshall: What are those formalities he mentioned? I don't like the sound of it at all. Ah, here comes a receptionist. Let’s see what she has to say.

Receptionist: Perhaps you would like me to explain what we arranging?

Mr.Marshall: Indeed we would.


Receptionist: Well, as you know, you are in the transit lounge, which means you have not passed through Immigration and Customs yet.

Mr.Marshall: So technically we are outside the country?

Receptionist: That's right. The authorities will agree to you staying in the specially segregated transit lounge, but now that we want to take you out to dinner, you will have to pass through Immigration and Customs here, instead of on arrival at London.

Mr.Marshall: That shouldn't take long.

Receptionist: Unfortunately they insist on seeing your baggage as well.

Mr.Marshall: So that means you have to unload the aircraft.

Receptionist: I'm afraid so. We’ve started already, so it should not take too long. We'll callyou down to the Customs hall when all the baggage is there.

Mr.Marshall: After we've cleared it through Customs, what happens to it?

Receptionist: We'll look after it "for you, and when you go on to London we will see that it accompanies you.

Mr.Marshall: Oh, that's good. I was afraid we would have to look after our own luggage all the way to London.

Receptionist: Of course not. We'll take care of everything for you.

Mr„Marshall: I have a large and fragile model travelling with me as accompanied freight in the cargo hold. What will happen to that?

Receptionist: I'm not very sure about that. I'll speak to the airport, manager in a few minutes and get him to sort it out.

Mrs.Marshall: Do you know yet when We can go on to London and whether we shall be able to fly?

Receptionist: The fog is still thick there, although the weather forecast mentions a possible improvement later in the evening. How you'll travel really depends on the weather.


Mrs.Marshall: Oh, dear, it's all so confusing. I'm sure I shall have a terrible headache before long.

Receptionist: Please don't worry, madam. Everything will go very smoothly, I can assure you- How I must go and talk to the other passengers. See you later.

Mr. Marshall: You really must stop worrying, dear. We shall soon be on our way again. Just cheer yourself up with the thought of the excellent dinner we're going to have - and it's all free.

Mrs.Marshall: It must cost them an awiul lot of money.

Mr.Marshall: I expect it does, but then I’m sure it pays them to keep their customers satisfied.

Mrs. Marshall: I suppose that's right, but I can't say I feel very satisfied.

Mr.Marshall: You will do - when you've had your free meal. Ah, here comes the Manager again. I must ask him about the model in the cargo hold.

Manager: Good evening, sir. Are you in any difficulty over the change of plan?

Mr. Marshall: There is just one thing. In the freight hold of our aircraft I have an important model and it's very fragile. Will that come down to London with us, or will it stay with the plane?

Manager: It will probably stay in the aircraft and travel down to London. But if the delay is a lorg one we'll have to use the plane to operate our outgoing services, in which case we would unload the freight and send it by road to London.

Mr. Marshall: In that case it could be collected from your London cargo depot?

Manager: Yes, that's right.

Mr. Marshall: Good, that solves that problem. And now the weather. Have you any more news?

Manager: No good news, I'm afraid. The forecasters now say the fog may persist through the night.

Mrs.Marshall: Oh, dear, I knew. things would go all wrong. I can feel my headache coming on already.


Mr.Marshall: What are your plans if the fog doesn't lift?

Manager: Several hours ago I took the precaution of reserving rooms for all our passengers at the hotel where you are going to have dinner. While you are ' eating we shall decide, in conjunction with our London management, what is to be done.

Mr.Marshall: What are the alternatives?

Manager: Under these circumstances we would offer you accommodation overnight at the hotel, with transport to London either by air or by rail, according to the weather. We would also offer the alternative, for those who wanted it, of a journey to London tonight by road, in one of our passenger coaches.

Mr.Marshall: I shouldn't think many people would want that - a long journey through a cold, foggy night.


Manager: I agree, sir. But there may be some passengers who have urgent reasons for being in London as soon as possible.

Mr.Marshall: Yes, I suppose so. By the way, when are we going to start the Customs check?

Manager: Right now. One of my staff has just told me that all the baggage has arrived in Customs. The receptionists will show you the way. I must leave you now, but I'll probably see you later. Good-bye.

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 965

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READING AND COMPREHENSION | by Major A. Andronov Zarubezhnoye voyennoye obozreniye (ISSN 0134-921X), No.12, 2012, pp. 37-43
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