Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Ready for departure?

106 Ready for departure

Now, where were we? I believe that we’d booked our flights and had our bags checked at security including a full body check because the clothes you were wearing have set off the metal detector. Time to put all those jackets, shoes, belts and jewellery back on, check that nothing has been left behind and stuck on the conveyor belt - again, personal experience which meant that I had to pay a LOT of money to get a bracelet sent back to me with FedEx from New York’s JFK airport when it fell out of my handbag in the x-ray machine without my noticing! - and transfer all those bits and pieces back into your hand luggage, pockets, handbags etc. so that you can move on.

Usually, it’s now time to head through the duty free shop and I’ve noticed that these days, almost all airports feed you through this shop in order to get into the main departure area – a very good marketing ploy to get you shopping. Here you can catch up on perfume or alcohol purchases that seem like such a treat. It’s worth checking the prices though as it seems to me that it’s often as expensive as ordinary shops outside the airport. There will also be items available for “real” duty free shoppers who are travelling outside the EU but be careful that you don’t buy too much to be able to take into the country. Ignorance at the allowance guidelines is not an excuse if you get stopped by Customs and the fines as well as possible prosecution can make these cheap purchases more than expensive.

This is always a time to pick up some last minute gifts for your hosts at your destination if you are visiting friends or family, and the family bars of chocolates or bags of Haribo are often very welcome no matter where you’re going.

I’m usually travelling to a destination outside the Schengen area so a passport check will be needed before you can reach the departure gates and you might need to allow a little extra time for that if you’re someone who is always a little on the late side!

Finally, you reach your boarding gate which will indicate if and when the plane is ready for boarding. These days, I’m one of those people who likes to get to the gate early so that I’m directly there when boarding begins. Quite a few years ago, I was late after spending too much time window-shopping in the duty free shop and we were the last two on the plane. We had one of those embarrassing calls across the whole airport for the “last two remaining passengers Smith & Jones on flight XYZ…”. We were running and running to get to the gate before they closed boarding and removed our luggage from the plane. We made it but I was so bright red by the time we reached our seats after walking down the aisle to the angry looks of all the other passengers on the flight who were waiting for us!

The boarding gate might be directly connected to the plane via a Passenger Boarding Bridge (also known as a jetbridge, a jetway or an airbridge). However, with my many city hopper flights, the airplanes are mostly located on the outer area of the airport, which is called the apron, and I need to take a transfer bus to drive from the gate to the parking position. An alternative is that the plane might be parked directly next to the airport and I need to walk down the stairs and across the tarmac to reach the plane, making sure to follow the safety lines painted and indicated.

So, assuming that the flight hasn’t been delayed or cancelled, I’ve made it through security, passport control and the dreaded duty free, I’ve finally made it across the distance from the airport terminal building to the plane – now what?

Next time around, I promise you that I’ll get on the plane and actually fly somewhere. In the meantime, why not go back though the three episodes to identify the travel vocabulary that’s new for you and make a note.

I’ll be back soon with my head truly in the clouds.



What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!

Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2

Episode 59: Summer Solstice

Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20

Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live

Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Episode 63:  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Episode 64: Stick a stamp on it!

Episode 65: Idiom of the week - Water under the bridge

Episode 66: I say QWERTY, you say QWERTZ

Episode 67: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 1)

Episode 68: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 2)

Episode 69: Joking around in Scotland

Episode 70: The first day of school

Episode 71: Let's go down to the Wiesn!

Episode 72: Celebrating language

Episode 73: It's a Harry thing!

Episode 74: My favourite time of the year

Episode 75: TED-Ideas Worth Spreading

Episode 76: Grinning like a Cheshire cat

Episode 77: Enjoying the downtime

Episode 78: Talking Tenners

Episode 79: Do you need anything from the Hight Street?

Episode 80: Just another few minutes!

Episode 81: Counting the cards on my shelf.

Episode 82: What sign are you?

Episode 83: Great if you have a sweet tooth

Episode 84: It's an acquired taste!

Episode 85: New Year's Resolutions

Episode 86: Quick Tip of the week - go/come & take/bring

Episode 87: My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose

Episode 88: Once in a blue moon

Episode 89: Learning by Listening - part 1

Episode 90: Learning by Listening - part 2

Episode 91: This is the travel news!

Episode 92: The "Beast from the East" hits Western Europe!

Episode 93: The flu hits Lisa's Week

Episode 94: Spring forward and fall back

Episode 95: Holy Week

Episode 96: Quick Tip of the Week - prepositons of time

Episode 97: Perfect for dunking!

Episode 98: Part of the family

Episode 99: It's a boy!

Episode 100: Happy Anniversary to me!

Episode 101: To all the mothers out there

Episode 102: Up, up and away

Episode 103: A very British affair!

Episode 104: Getting boarded!

Episode 105: How do you say that?