Home travel Decoding the Lingo: Unraveling Airport Terminology

Decoding the Lingo: Unraveling Airport Terminology


Airports are bustling hubs of activity, filled with a unique blend of passengers, aircraft, and personnel working together to ensure smooth operations. Amidst the organized chaos, you may have encountered some bewildering airport terminology that left you scratching your head. Or even if you are aware, your little one might come running to you enquiring what a certain word means. Fear not! In this article, we’ll decode the mysterious world of airport jargon and shed light on the terminology used behind the scenes.

Airport Terminology
Source: Freepik


A terminal is a designated area within an airport where passengers board and disembark from aircraft. Airports often have multiple terminals, each serving different airlines or destinations.

Also Read: San Francisco Airport Terminal Guide


A gate refers to the specific location within a terminal where passengers board and exit an aircraft. It is usually indicated by a gate number, such as Gate 25 or Gate A5.

Boarding Pass

This is the document issued to passengers after check-in, granting them permission to board the aircraft. It contains essential information like the flight number, seat assignment, and departure gate.

Security Check

Before entering the boarding area, passengers must undergo a security check. This involves screening their carry-on luggage, removing items like electronics and liquids for inspection, and passing through a metal detector or body scanner.

Baggage Claim

Once you reach your destination, you proceed to the baggage claim area. Here, you can collect your checked-in luggage, which is transported from the aircraft to the terminal through a complex system of conveyor belts.


An airport runway is a long strip of pavement where aircraft take off and land. It is specifically designed to accommodate the size and weight of different aircraft.


Taxiways are the designated paths that connect runways to terminals, hangars, and other airport facilities. Aircraft use these taxiways to move between different areas of the airport.

Control Tower

The control tower is a tall structure located at the airport, housing air traffic controllers who monitor and guide aircraft movements. They ensure safe takeoffs, landings, and overall aircraft flow.


The apron, also known as the ramp, is the area where aircraft are parked, loaded, and unloaded. It is situated in front of the terminal and serves as a transit point for passengers and ground crew.

Ground Handling

Ground handling refers to the services provided to aircraft on the ground. It includes activities like baggage handling, refueling, cleaning, catering, and passenger boarding.

Jet Bridge

A jet bridge, also called an aerobridge or passenger boarding bridge, is a movable enclosed walkway that connects the terminal gate to the aircraft, allowing passengers to board and disembark directly from the terminal. This is one of the most important term you must know for flight vocabulary. 

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

ATC is responsible for managing and regulating the flow of aircraft in and around the airport airspace. They provide instructions to pilots, monitor radar systems, and ensure safe separation between aircraft.


During winter months, aircraft may undergo deicing procedures to remove ice or snow from their surfaces. This is crucial for maintaining proper aerodynamics and ensuring safe takeoffs and landings.

Customs and Immigration

These are government agencies responsible for enforcing customs and immigration laws at airports. They process arrivals and departures, inspect luggage, and verify travelers’ documents.


Duty-free shops offer products like cosmetics, alcohol, and electronics at tax-free prices. They are located in the departure area of the airport, allowing passengers to purchase items without paying certain taxes.

Also Read: Essential Rules to Carry Electronics from USA to India

Understanding these airport terminologies will help demystify the intricate processes and facilitate smoother travel experiences. Next time you navigate through an airport, you’ll feel more confident and knowledgeable about the fascinating world behind the scenes. So, buckle up, and embrace the adventure that awaits you at the airport, armed with a newfound understanding of airport terminology. 

Remember to check your boarding pass, breeze through security, and locate your gate with ease. As you step onto the jet bridge, appreciate the convenience it offers in connecting you directly to the aircraft. Take a moment to admire the control tower, where air traffic controllers diligently guide planes through the sky. And when you arrive at your destination, navigate to the baggage claim area with anticipation, knowing your luggage awaits. 

With this knowledge of airport terminology, you’re ready to embark on your journey. Now empowered by the language of airports, you can book cheap international flights

Don’t forget to avail the ongoing Indian Eagle deals to save further. Use coupon code FATHERSDAYTD25 on bookings made until 30th June. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here