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Telephone: flights


Modern business often involves international travel. When booking a flight, what questions do you need to ask?


Imagine you are booking a flight and a hotel over the phone. What words and expressions do you use?


Next you are going to hear a telephone conversation in which someone is booking a flight and then a hotel.

Check your understanding

Check your understanding by reading the script below:

Dolores:Hello! Dolores speaking…
Tim:Ah yes, hello. I’d like to enquire about flights to Hong Kong from Kennedy Airport in New York, please. I’m off to a conference at the end of the month - Thursday 22nd until Tuesday 27th. Could you tell me about the flight availability and prices?  
Dolores:Certainly. Do you want to go economy, business or first class?
Tim:Well, I’d like to go first class, but unfortunately I’ll have to go economy - company rules, you see. 
Dolores:Yes, sure, I understand. How many of you will be travelling?
Tim:Ah, it’s just me.
Dolores:Okay, so that’s one seat … economy … New York - Kennedy to Hong Kong Airport.
Tim:And how much will that be?
Dolores:Let me see … to qualify for the discount rate, you need to stay over a Saturday, which you are doing … Yes, that’ll be $830.
Tim:Right, and does that include airport tax?
Dolores:No, tax is another $70 on top of that.
Tim:Okay. Can I book that, then?


Can I help you with anything else?

Tim: Yes, I'd like to book a hotel room too, for the full five nights. Could you check if the Regency Hotel has any rooms free?
Dolores: Yes, they do.
Tim: And is there a discount rate for conference delegates?
Dolores: Yes, there is. I think it's 10% but I can check that for you.

Okay, do you mind if I book it provisionally for now and I'll call you back later to confirm? I just need to check one or two details.

Dolores: That's fine, sir. Can I help you with anything else?

No, that's all for now. As I said, I'll call you back.

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Our expert explains the multi-word verbs like "hang up" or "hold on" that often feature in telephone conversations.