Gatwick reveals 2016's need-to-know holiday phrases as it marks busiest day of the year

Gatwick Airport is predicting a record-breaking summer, with eight million passengers expected to pass through the airport this summer holiday, kicking off with its busiest departure day today (Friday July 29).

Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport

To mark the start of a record summer, the London airport is launching an initiative to help its passengers converse with the locals once they arrive on holiday.

Revealing the top must-know phrases for the 2016 getaway, the airport has unveiled a series of free audio language lessons and phrase books to help holidaymakers with modern-day dilemmas, such as asking for Wi-Fi passwords and discussing the impact of Brexit.

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Gatwick’s research found that the top 10 most important modern holiday phrases are:

1 What is the Wi-Fi password?

2 Do you have a phone charger?

3 Do you take contactless payment?

4 Does this car have sat-nav?

5 Let’s take a selfie

6 Are there any vegan options?

7 Is there a gluten free option?

8 Are you on WhatsApp?

9 Where can I find a juice bar?

10 What do you think about Brexit?

Asking for the Wi-Fi password is the phrase Brits are most likely to use (44 per cent); more so than knowing the location of the nearest pharmacy (34 per cent) or the number of a local taxi company (26 per cent); suggesting tourists are now more likely to Google local information than ask locals for the inside scoop.

The need for British tourists to stay connected while away is evident in the other need-to-know phrases. 23 per cent of travellers believe ‘Where can I charge my phone?’ is a key a phrase they’d most likely use, and a further 16 per cent wanted to ask ‘where is the best place to get phone signal?’ in a foreign language.

With two-thirds (67 per cent) of Brits saying they always try and learn key phrases in the language of their holiday destination, Gatwick Airport has produced a series of audio language lessons and brochures to help holidaymakers learn the must-know phrases ahead of their summer holiday.

Written guides, which translate the top ten need-to-know modern holiday phrases into five different languages (French, Spanish, Swedish, Italian and Mandarin), will be handed out to travellers from this weekend onwards, while the audio guides are available on the Gatwick Airport SoundCloud channel (

All five languages are native to destinations passengers can fly to from Gatwick (including the UK’s only direct Lima in Peru and Chongqing in China), while three of the translations (Swedish, Italian and Mandarin) were recorded by native-speaking staff from the airport.

Gatwick Airport, Terminals Operations Manager, Wayne Tomlinson said: “Ahead of our summer holidays many of us try and learn a few phrases to get us by. However, in the smartphone age we now live in, traditional phrases like ‘do you have a map?’ aren’t necessarily as important as they used to be.

“Gatwick serves more destinations than any other UK airport so, whether our passengers are off to China, Europe or South America, the audio language lessons we have produced will help our tech-savvy passengers get the most out of their trip.

“With all the modern phrases they need to know at their fingertips, Gatwick is helping to ensure our passengers enjoy their holiday even more.”

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