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0502 Storing Luggage on an Airplane

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 502: Storing Luggage on an Airplane.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 502. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California. How are you today? Well, good. Thank you for asking; I’m fine, too.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there to download a Learning Guide for this episode that contains all of the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, additional definitions, comprehension questions, cultural notes, and a complete transcript of everything we say on this episode.

On this episode, we’re going to be talking about taking “luggage,” which are your bags where you put your clothing and so forth, on an airplane. It will be a dialogue between Yoshi and Tatiana using a lot of common vocabulary we use to describe luggage for traveling. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Yoshi: Can you hold my jacket while I try to get my roller bag down the aisle?

Tatiana: All right, but I have to roll my own bag down the aisle, you know.

Yoshi: Fine, give it back to me. All of these overhead bins are full. Where are we supposed to store them?

Tatiana: Look, there are two spaces in the back of the plane. You put our big bags in those bins, and I’ll put our carry-ons under the seats in front of us.

Yoshi: Fine, but these seats are already cramped, and now, I’ll have no legroom for the entire flight. Great! That’s what we get for not getting seats in the emergency exit row.

Tatiana: If we had seats in the emergency exit row, you’d be complaining about not being able to recline in your seat right now. At least we don’t have bulkhead seats. Stop grumbling and get moving before somebody else snags those overhead bins and we have to check those bags.

Yoshi: Whose idea was it to go on vacation?

Tatiana: It was mine. We both need some time to get away and unwind.

Yoshi: Yeah, right, I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed!

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogue begins with Yoshi saying to Tatiana, “Can you hold my jacket (my coat) while I try to get my roller bag down the aisle?” A “roller (roller) bag” is a suitcase that is on wheels. It has, typically, a long “handle,” something that you can pull it so you don’t have to carry it. It has wheels so you can just pull it along the ground – along the floor. That’s why it’s called a roller bag, because it rolls. Something that “rolls” is something like a wheel that goes around and around.

Yoshi is on the airplane, and in the center of the airplane, on a small airplane, there are seats on both sides, typically three seats on each side, and in the middle where you walk up and down the airplane is called the “aisle” (aisle). Notice that Yoshi says that he wants to get his bag down the aisle. We use “down the…” when we are talking about walking, usually on a flat surface such as on the street or on the floor. You can walk down the street, that means you are walking on the sidewalk next to the street – we hope. So, “down” is just indicating that you are walking on or along a certain place. “Down” and “up” are sometimes used for directions as well: you can walk down the stairs, meaning you are going from a higher place to a lower place. Or you could walk up the stairs, meaning you were going from a lower place to a higher place. But here, “down the aisle” simply means along this particular path.

Tatiana says, “All right, but I have to roll my own bag down the aisle, you know.” Yoshi says, “Fine, give it back to me,” meaning his jacket. Tatiana is complaining that she doesn’t have an extra hand – an extra arm, because she has to roll her bag down the aisle. Yoshi says, “All of these overhead bins are full.” On an airplane, inside the airplane, above the seats there are spaces where you can put your luggage – your bags. And then, after you put your bags in you close the door. Those things are called “overhead bins” (bins). A “bin” is simply a container – a large container. “Overhead” refers to the fact that they are over your head; you are sitting in the chair and they are above you. So, “overhead” means above.

Yoshi complains that the overhead bins are full, there’s no more room. He asks, “Where are we supposed to store them (to store our luggage)?” “To store,” as a verb, means to keep something in a safe place for a period of time, something that you are planning on using later. So, I may have lots of extra books that don’t fit on my bookshelf; I put them in a box and I store them in my garage. I keep them there until I’m ready to use them again.

Tatiana says, “Look, there are two spaces in the back of the plane. You put our big bags in those bins, and I’ll put our carry-ons under the seat in front of us.” So, Tatiana is telling Yoshi to take the two large bags and put them in an open space – an open bin in the back of the plane. She will then take their two smaller bags, what we call “carry-on bags,” because you can carry them onto the plane – you can bring them onto the plane. She’s going to store the carry-on bags underneath the seat in front of them, because there’s a space in the airplane in front of the seat that you are sitting in, typically, where you can put a small bag, or your shoes, or purse, or a young child who is not behaving, who is making noise. You can put all those in the space in front of you. I’m just kidding about the child, of course!

Yoshi says, “Fine, but these seats are already cramped, and now, I have no legroom for the entire flight.” This Yoshi does nothing but complain, I’m telling you! Yoshi says these seats are cramped. “To be cramped” means to be crowded; there’s not enough room. He says that he has no legroom for the flight. “Legroom” is space in front of you where you can, especially if you have long legs, extend your legs. But if you have something in the seat – below the seat in front of you, well then, you don’t have any room to put your legs there.

Yoshi says, “Great! That’s what we get for not getting seats in the emergency exit row.” Each line of seats is called a “row,” typically there’ll be anywhere between 25 and maybe 55 or more rows in an airplane – in a big airplane. The “emergency exit” is the place where if the plane has a problem, if the plane has to land or the plane goes down before you get to the airport (something that I don’t recommend!) then you may have to escape, you may have to get out of the airplane through the emergency exits. They aren’t the exits that you normally take to get out of the airplane, but in an emergency, especially if it’s in middle of the plane, those are the ones that you would use. The emergency exit rows are always a little bit “roomier,” that is, there’s more space between the row of seats and the row of seats in front it, so there’s more room for your legs. That’s why many people try to get the emergency exit row seats.

Tatiana says, “If we had seats in the emergency exit row, you’d be complaining about not being able to recline in your seat right now.” In the emergency exit row, especially if there are two exit rows, typically one or both the rows will have seats than do not lean back. Normally in an airplane when you sit down, you can press a small button and you can put your seat back farther – the top part of your seat, so you can rest or sleep. But in the emergency exit row, sometimes you can’t do that because they want to have nothing in the way in case of an emergency so people can get out the emergency exits. “To recline” means to put the seat back. We have a noun, a “recliner,” that’s a big chair, usually in your living room, that you can push the back all the way so it is almost flat. That’s what you can do in an airplane, or most airplanes, you can recline your seat, using “recline” as a verb here meaning to lean backwards.

Tatiana then says, “At least we don’t have bulkhead seats.” A “bulkhead” (bulkhead) is a word that describes a type of wall that separates different parts of the plane; it can also separate different parts of a ship. Usually, if you have a seat in front of the bulkhead – in front of some wall on the airplane, you can’t put anything in front of you because there is no seat directly in front of you. That would be a problem for Tatiana and Yoshi, since they don’t have enough room for their bags in the overhead bins.

Tatiana then says to Yoshi, “Stop grumbling and get moving.” “To grumble” (grumble) means to complain, to say something negative but not in a loud voice, in a quiet voice. You may say, “Oh, people with those kids, they keep yelling, and that cat keeps screaming, and…” That would be to grumble; you say something negative, you complain, but you don’t say it very loudly. Well, Yoshi is grumbling, so Tatiana tells him to stop grumbling and “get moving,” meaning start to walk forward; hurry up and begin what you are supposed to do, which in this case is to move forward to their seats. “Move” has many different meanings in English; take a look at our Learning Guide for a further definition of that and the word “store” that we used earlier in the episode.

Tatiana says that Yoshi has to get moving before somebody else snags those overhead bins. “To snag” (snag) means to grab or get something quickly, especially before someone else gets them. So when you walk into a movie theater, you may want to snag the best seats as soon as you walk in; you’re going to find the best seats so that no one else sits there before you. Tatiana wants Yoshi to snag the overhead bins – to go and put their bags in the overhead bins, because if they don’t fit in the overhead bins then they have to, typically, check their bags. “To check your bag” means to give your suitcase – your luggage to the airline employee and they put it underneath the plane. This means that you have to wait when you get to wherever you’re going in order to get your bag back, so many people don’t like to check their bags. But now, with new security regulations, many people, probably most people who are staying overnight check their bags.

Yoshi says, “Whose idea was it to go on vacation?” Tatiana says, “It was mine. We both needed some time to get away and unwind.” “To unwind” (unwind) means to relax, to stop being anxious, to stop feeling stressed. Of course, Yoshi is not unwinding; he says, “Yeah, right, I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed!” He’s making a joke. “I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed” means this is a very rare thing for me to be so relaxed. Of course, he isn’t relaxed; he’s very stressed and complaining and grumbling all the time, even though he is on his vacation.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Yoshi: Can you hold my jacket while I try to get my roller bag down the aisle?

Tatiana: All right, but I have to roll my own bag down the aisle, you know.

Yoshi: Fine, give it back to me. All of these overhead bins are full. Where are we supposed to store them?

Tatiana: Look, there are two spaces in the back of the plane. You put our big bags in those bins, and I’ll put our carry-ons under the seats in front of us.

Yoshi: Fine, but these seats are already cramped, and now, I’ll have no legroom for the entire flight. Great! That’s what we get for not getting seats in the emergency exit row.

Tatiana: If we had seats in the emergency exit row, you’d be complaining about not being able to recline in your seat right now. At least we don’t have bulkhead seats. Stop grumbling and get moving before somebody else snags those overhead bins and we have to check those bags.

Yoshi: Whose idea was it to go on vacation?

Tatiana: It was mine. We both need some time to get away and unwind.

Yoshi: Yeah, right, I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed!

[end of dialogue]

The script for this episode was written by somebody who never grumbles about her work, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2009 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
roller bag – a suitcase that is on wheels with a long handle, so that it can be pulled instead of carried

* This suitcase is too heavy to carry! It would be much easier to travel with a roller bag.


aisle – a long, narrow space for walking between two shelves, rows of seats, or other things

* The grocery store keeps rice and noodles in aisle seven.


overhead bin – the area inside an airplane, above the seats, where people can put their bags inside and then close the door to keep them there during the flight

* Each passenger is allowed to put one item in the overhead bins.


to store – to keep something in a safe place for a period of time so that it can be used later

* If you don’t have a garage, where are you going to store your bicycle?


carry-on – a small bag that can be brought onto a plane with a traveler, without needing to be put in the storage area below the passenger area of the plane

* It’s always a good idea to have a carry-on bag with medicine, a toothbrush, and an extra set of clothing.


cramped – crowded; without enough room or space to feel comfortable or move one’s body freely

* They work in a very small office that always feels cramped.


legroom – space in front of a seat where one can put one’s legs, especially on a plane or in a car

* Sports cars don’t have very much legroom for passengers in the backseat.


emergency exit row – one of the larger rows of seats on an airplane, with additional space between it and the row of seats in front of it, next to a door that can be opened only if there is a major problem and people need to get off the airplane immediately without using the regular door

* People who sit in the emergency exit row must be able to help other people off of an airplane in an emergency.


to recline – to lean backwards, especially while sitting in a chair where the back of the seat can move backward toward the floor

* This couch would be much more comfortable if it could recline.


bulkhead – a type of wall that separates the different parts of a plane or ship

* He spent most of the flight watching a movie on the TV that was hanging on the bulkhead.


to grumble – to complain quietly; to say something negative in a quiet voice

* She grumbles whenever her boss gives her extra assignments, but she always does the work.


to get moving – to hurry and start to do something right away, without any delay or without waiting for something else to happen first

* We have a lot of work to do today, so let’s get moving.


to snag – to grab or get something quickly, especially before another person can do it

* Who snagged all of the cookies I just made?


to check (one’s) bag – to give a suitcase to an airline employee so that it can be placed in the bottom of the plane where one won’t have access to it until the plane lands.

* This bag is too big to bring onto the airplane. You will need to check your bag.


unwind – relax; stop feeling stressed or anxious

* At the end of a long week, they like to unwind by sitting in their backyard and watching the animals.

Comprehension Questions
1. Where would you have the most legroom?
a) In an overhead bin.
b) In an emergency exit row.
c) In a carry-on.

2. What does Tatiana mean when she tells Yoshi to “stop grumbling”?
a) She wants him to stop walking.
b) She wants him to stop dragging his bag.
c) She wants him to stop complaining.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to store

The verb “to store,” in this podcast, means to keep something in a safe place for a period of time so that it can be used later: “Each spring, they store their winter clothes in the garage so they can have more space in their closet for summer clothes.” The phrase “to store away” has the same meaning: “Let’s store away those toys until he’s a little bit older.” The verb “to store” can also mean to save information: “He stores copies of his files on CD-ROMs.” The phrase “in store for (someone)” means that something unexpected will happen to another person: “We have a big surprise in store for you!” The phrase “to set store by (something)” means to think that something is important: “Why do people set great store by having a large home?”

to get moving

In this podcast, the phrase “to get moving” means to hurry and start to do something right away, without any delay or without waiting for something else to happen first: “If we want to reach the top of the mountain by noon, we need to get moving.” The phrase “move it” has a similar meaning, and is used to tell someone to hurry or to move now: “We’re late! Move it!” The phrase “to move (something) to/from (a day or time)” means to reschedule something: “Can we move our meeting to 3:00?” The phrase “to move from (something)” means to change topic: “The conversation moved from movies to the economy.” Finally, the phrase “to move heaven and earth” means to try very hard to do something: “They would move heaven and earth to find a way to cure their daughter’s illness.”

Culture Note
When Americans travel, they can choose many different types of “luggage” (bags; suitcases). Roller bags are a popular choice, but you can see many different types of bags in airports and at train stations.

A “duffel bag” is a long bag made of soft, strong “cloth” (fabric). It has a circular end and it might be closed with a long zipper or by tying a string. A duffel bag can hold many things, but they are “disorganized” (not easy to find) because there are no special “compartments” (sections) or pockets.

A “tote bag” is a large bag that is used for carrying many things, especially by women. It usually has a long zipper on the top and “handles” (long pieces of fabric or leather) that are put over one’s shoulder. A tote bag usually has many small pockets and is larger than a “purse” (a small bag that women carry with the items they need during the day).

In general, men are more likely to use a “laptop computer bag” (a special bag that protects a small computer placed inside) or a “briefcase” (a bag with hard sides that is used to carry important papers) than a tote bag.

A “garment bag” is a special bag that is used to carry dresses or suits so they don’t get “wrinkled” (having many small lines and folds). The clothing is put on a hanger and then the garment bag is zipped around the clothes. The hanger “sticks out of” (extends through an opening in) the top of the garment bag and is used as a handle for carrying the bag.

Some people like to travel with “convertible bags,” which can be “converted” (changed) from a suitcase into a backpack or “vice versa” (the other way around, from a backpack to a suitcase).

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c