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Don’t Miss Your Airline Flight!

We had a question this week from Jacek in Poland about how to pronounce airline flights numbers. The flight number is the number that each plane trip is given, and is usually two, three, or four digits (numbers) in the United States. For example, if I fly from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, I might take Northwest flight 304. “304″ is the number of the flight; “Northwest” is the name of the airline.

While in many cases you could pronounce this number “three hundred and four,” that is not how you would pronounce it in the context of a flight number. In other words, if you’re at the airport and listening for an announcement for your flight number, you will not hear them say “three hundred and four.” Here are the rules for pronouncing numbers at the airport:

If it is a two digit flight number, we pronounce it as a “regular” number. So flight 34 would be pronounced “thirty-four.” It is also possible to use the individual numbers — “three four.”

For three digit flight numbers, we pronounce the individual numbers only. So, flight 304 would be pronounced “three zero four.” You would not say “three hundred and four.”

For four digit flight numbers, there are two possibilities. Let’s take the example of flight 2567. This can be pronounced “twenty-five sixty-seven,” grouping the numbers two by two, or it can be pronounced using the individual numbers “two five six seven.” Again, we would not say “two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven.”

So listen carefully when you’re at the airport.  We don’t want you to miss (not get on in time) your flight!

~Jeff

30 Responses to “Don’t Miss Your Airline Flight!”

  1. RAUL Says:

    Jeff, your expolanation was very good and easy to understand. Every time that I have the opportunity to look at this blog I learn a lot.That´s why I consider this a wonderful webpage to increase our level of English.

  2. Patricia Mendes Says:

    Dear Jeff,

    It was really useful. I liked very much!

  3. Bong Says:

    Hi Jeff.
    I had many opportunites to hear flight numbers at the airport before but I didn’t listen carefully the rules announcing the flight numbers.
    Now I know the rules exactly through this webpage.
    I am trying to visit this Blog every moring before starting working to improve my English ability.
    I can study English and take useful information as well.

    Thanks a lot Jeff.

  4. Keochua Says:

    Hello Raul! You must be a new friend of this website. On behalf of all these millions of people that are marching strongly on this green planet. I congratulate you on this sparkled confetti elspodcast (the place where you can see your light). Jeff and Lucy’re our best in the west. They’re the head of our English religion. The more you visit the website, the more you will see the light. I guarantee you will like Jeff (bald head instructor, good sense of humor), and get on your knee down with Lucy. Lucy is my goodness, Lucy is not just secretly helping you to improve your english greatly for free. At the same time, she gives you the light too. yes, she does, a\ ha/. I don’t know you my friend, but you should take my word for it. “Be a part of a great team”. Then you will see the light, my friend. Your viet guy in CA. Sour Candy.

  5. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Nice words , Keochua ! Your ” love letter ” deserves to be included in the Praise from Our
    Listeners.

    Tania

  6. Nima Says:

    I have seen this separate reading of number is other contexts. i gotta say, it’s weird!

    may be the reason is most people are not very good with numbers and stuff! joking away, it is said that the educational materials specifically for high schools has been continually simplified to the extend that nothing is actually remained!

  7. richard Says:

    Hi Jeff
    I am a new one to access this blog. It is great one I have read. Through it, I do learn a lots native and daily English express.It’s useful for me. I will keep with it.
    Richard

  8. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Regardless the story endings ( happy , tragic , dramatic , horror or cliffhanger ) , the artistic emotion is important . I remember at a world championship in America , a Chinese sportive had an accident . Asked by the Americans (very polite like usually ) what she would like she said : to see Leonardo DiCaprio . And indeed , he visited her at the hospital .
    A teen-ager looking for love , Leonardo – the symbol of the true love , of the suprime sacrifice in Titanic .
    But there is and the technique impression . Everyone was impressed by the micro-submarine ( from the beginning of the movie ) – Russian first class technique / hi.-tech.
    That’s why Spilberg is so , so , great .

    Cliffhanger , with another meaning , is a movie with Silvester Stallone .
    It was quoted like a nonsense . But the first scenes high in the mountains were good in my opinion .

    All the best for you all ,

    Tania

  9. Keochua Says:

    Dear Jeff and Lucy!
    How are you? I have a question: what does ” beyond a reasonable doubt” mean?

    Thank for you help.

  10. emiliano Says:

    Thank you Jeff, I think it is a very useful matter to know how to listen and understand which flight number is the one we need to be ready. In future
    I would like to listen to a flight number that should fly me to New York, and afterward to Los Angeles, all is possible. Who knows?.

    It is funny that when I go to Madrid´s bus central station, the voice who advices the arrival or the departure of all the buses, the platform numbers
    and the hours is my daughter Eva voice. She has a nice and clear voice and some years ago she wanted to work as putting the voices to foreign artist in the movies or tv. series but meanwhile she had to work doing this kind of job, buses or trains departure and arrival advices.

    I like to listen to her every time I have to go to the Central Madrid bus station…….as I think “she is my Eva”.

  11. Nima Says:

    interesting Non-discussion, everybody saying whatever he/she likes to say. who says we need even a subject?!
    who knows? maybe this time i came and pray. cool blog, i like it.

    ***Nima – Jeff here. Thanks for your comment. Since our website doesn’t have a way for people to comment on the day’s podcast episode or post general comments/questions, people write about not only on the topic of the blog post, but other issues as well. That’s not a problem for us, and I don’t think it is too confusing for most readers, either, but of course if you are confused, you can always post a question to clarify what someone is writing about.

  12. emiliano Says:

    Very nice words Keochua, you have said our feelings about this daily great support ESL Lucy and Jeff, not only to learn English what it would be much more than enough but
    to have good time reading, writting, and listening to them, what is really the big one.
    Yes, I agree with Tania suggestion.

  13. Peter Says:

    Hi Everybody,

    No doubt that EslPod is copacetic;it is superb.I am totally with you on that. I can”t speak for you guys but, what Jeff and Lucy are covering In Their Program is way more than what I am bargained for. I am counting my blessing, That is for sure.

  14. Keochua Says:

    To Tania: Is it right about me about the “love letter for Eslpodcast”? You make me feel so shy. I even call your name “Tania, Tania, oh! My Tania in my

    To Emiliano: The man with too many choices, Good heart, I feel so little with your complicated mind sometime, but thanks for agreeing with me about the light. God bless you for sure!

    To the disagree: just get off the light. Viet guy in CA, Sour-candy

  15. Peter Says:

    Allow me to briefly put down my thoughts on the subject matter,

    Why have we adopted this weird way of uttering numerical values? The answers lies on the tendency towards linguistic simplification. And, my friends this propensity is not a newly established trend ,but it has been a general trend since the foundation of languages. If you look back through the history you can see ,you can track this inclination,another word, this gradual movement from the language of Shakespeare to the oversimplified form of language we have grown accustomed to.

  16. elcomandant Says:

    At the airport we can hear many things most of them are at least a little strange.

    For instance, the rules to name the numbers. I guess the flight number is pronounced this way, two by two, for make it easier to people who don’t speak English.

    Another strange thing that we can hear by public-address system at the airport is the advice that we were careful with our baggage because can have people that would like to take things belonging other people.

    Another strange advice is when it says to smoker people must go to specific place to smoke.

    Can it have a spectacle more degrading than this?. My God. If I were smoker, I think I never would go into this “specific place”. They seem convicts in a jail or an excluded people in a boxing ring.

    I know that no smoker people have our rights, but I think that smoker people deserve something better to remain, sometimes so many hours at the airport.

    Regards.

  17. Nima Says:

    i just enjoyed podcast 496, thanks. it was hard to understand the case though, cause I’m not exactly familiar with US taxing system. as i understand, Micheal is fudging numbers so that his company who owns the car will pay less tax to the state, right?

    my question is:
    if by any chance, Micheal lawbreaking discovered someday, who takes the blame? Micheal or his company?

    in our country, we do not have a complex and definite tax system so the podcast case doesn’t apply. but it’s common for people who have government sector jobs to use their job’s perks, such as cars and houses for personal use which is illegal. unfortunately, it has become an unwritten rule.

    US taxing systems seems really complex and fearful to me, it’s like they want to tax you for breathing! it reminds me of the old Walt Disney picture Robin Hood! ( I argue it is one of the best ever animations made )

  18. Keochua Says:

    To Elcomandant: You’re right, you reminding me square box cell for smoker in some airports. When one or two people utilize the box, it looks nice! But at its peak time, the cell is crowded with smoker; it looks really abased with smoky smoke all over the cell. It is producing depression, then smoker realize that they in humiliated stage. Is that the good intention causing pain? I thought they created the cell to treat smoker with good intention. Turn out to be resentment. Are people smart enough or it hard to make every customer happy? An old Saying “customer is god”.

    To the airline: do they retire an old air taxi or they just carelessly allow the rusted metal box crash take many poor passengers with it? I am not frequent flyer , I am flyer sometime., so it make me think! beautiful Sunday in Sanjose
    Your viet guy in CA, keochua(sour-candy)

  19. Bakhtyar Says:

    Good explain, awesome, now if i attend any airport i understand announcer, and from today it doesn’t need any more to double check what announcement said, i will take it straight from the horses mouth, actually i am planning to travel to the UK, i just need to issue a new pass port, as you see attendace in the HETHRO airport needs such kind of guideline as you mentioned in this episode is informative for me, and hopefully i know mentioned airport like back of my hands, if you need and help to guide you in the Hethrow airport do not hesitate to ask my, and i will cast on this calibre website and in this part of the web day of flight booking.

  20. Tania Says:

    Hi ! As this day is the fortieth anniversary of humans first landing on the Moon … Neil Armstrong and not Louis Armstrong / jazz … I wish you to meet us on a trip on the Moon as soon as possible … to know each other .

    All the best for you all ,

    Tania

  21. emiliano Says:

    It´s a good idea Tania, may be soon we may do that.

    You know? That year 1969 was the one where my wife and me were boy and girl friends, in fact we bought the flat where we were going to live
    and have our life just in August of 1969, so to me and to her it is a very good year to remember always, not only about the first landing on the Moon,…..but also because may be we bouth were living in the our own Moon already, despite we were in Madrid and walking along The Retiro Park.

    Keochua, thanks, you are really nice and of course I know I have a so complicated mind, you made me smile when I saw your message, and Cuca said that´s true.
    As we say here in spanish, she told me “te ha calado” (he has got your number) he has hit the nail on the head.

    To me this blog is like therapy to my mind. Years before I need to write in a notepad every day, now I have the blog and I don´t need the notepad any more by the moment.

  22. Peter Says:

    Hi mates ,

    My friend Emiliano,

    You are right the blog is an oasis away from all the daily complications. It is like a cyber forum on which we exchange ideas ,run some cross words,and above all learn new stuff from one another.

    Every day when I got home from my daily battle with life. One of my priories is check The Blog. In fact ,prioritising tasks is an old habit of mine, and top on the list is check The blog The minute I get Home.

    We are in good hands . Jeff and Lucy are on the top of it. I mean they have created a podcast to End all the podcast out there

  23. Keochua Says:

    To emiliano!
    the juicy tender passion that you have been having ! It sounds so precious, it is too graceful. unbearable breath in paradise. You‘ve both been living above the moon! Oh ya. You both will have the ticket to the next spaceship to heaven.
    Please share with us the recipes for eternity love. I will admire it with my hungry to learn eyes, and listen with my uneducated, inexperienced ears. Please! Please! my mighty cupid god!
    I ‘ve already downed on my knees,! Your slave!

    To Tania:
    Oh! my dear! My long time ago friend, Tania! how are you my lady lei? It seem like a lot of people having sweet fond memory about the year of 69. It was a spectacular historic year ha/. that is the year! I still live somewhere in the universe. Well, you know! May be somewhere in the heaven.or I maybe somewhere in my father’s bones or maybe still in hell.
    After observing the the video clip about the first human spaceship conquered moon on CNN
    (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/07/16/nasa.videos/index.html#cnnSTCVideo). I noticed that
    1) why there is no star on scene at the moonwalk, completely black sky universe? I’m really confuse?
    2) Why under the pedestal of the hot heavy spaceship did not cause a large crater.
    your confusing viet in CA; keochua(sour candy)

  24. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Keochua , you are and romantic and realistic . Why so many questions ? Leave the scientists to solve your doubts .

    And Emiliano and Elcomandant ! No words about Titanic and Armagedon ? I cannot believe you !

    All the best for you all ,

    Tania

  25. Bakhtair Says:

    I have been noticing exchange of ideas and opinions between participants of Blog, what such a nice thing, our webside become really intercontinental and globalized,so congratulation for all of you my online friends

  26. emiliano Says:

    Of course Tania, your are right as usually, and yes I have some feelings about that story you told us. In fact I have told Cuca about what the Chinese sportswoman wanted. To see Leonardo di Caprio in person, a nice story and understandable too because he is the real love in Titanic. The lover who is willing to give his/her life to save the other life.
    Some tears went off my eyes the three or four times I have seen the film feeling it as a real and true love.
    The best feeling a person can have in life.
    You are cute Tania and you know how to touch person´s soul, only we have to see what Keochua writes.

  27. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Thank you , our dear Emiliano !

    Tania

  28. elcomandant Says:

    I’m sorry Tania but I don’t know why you say this. Surely will be because I’m becoming an older man.

    Any way I have to say you that Armagedon is not the kind of movie I like, however just to see Bruce Willys is enough for me. He is a big actor, at least for me. He is one of the few I like.

    Take care.

  29. Tania Says:

    Hi ! I like Bruce Willis , too .

    Tania

  30. Bruce Lee Says:

    It’s very useful information when we take the airplane.

    Regarding the airport,
    we can thinkg about the film “Terminal”, which Steven Spelberg made in 2004.
    Its story is about one guy “Tom hanks” who suddenly lost his country when he arrives at the JFK
    to go to the Jazz hall according to his father’s testament.

    When I went to JFK on business trip in last year, I wanted to see the background of this movie.
    But I thouht that its place is quite different from things I expected.