An [adjective] airplane.

Definition: In the process of having passengers go on board; being boarded by passengers.

Does 'boarding' fit?

  • 5
    I'm not really sure we can give you an adjective that will fit your exact example... "An airplane in the boarding process" would be fine but the airplane isn't doing anything... it's being boarded. It's currently "gated" (sitting at the gate) but that doesn't imply that it's being deboarded or boarded or cleaned.
    – Catija
    Aug 12, 2016 at 16:21
  • Hi William, welcome to ELL. Please use the edit button to provide a bit more information about what you want to know.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 12, 2016 at 16:21
  • Is there a word you have in mind, like in a different language?
    – Em.
    Aug 12, 2016 at 16:44
  • 1
    You do sometimes hear things like "Flight 317 is boarding now." But you don't hear that the airplane itself is boarding, because boarding is what the people getting on the plane are doing. "being boarded" is probably the best answer.
    – stangdon
    Aug 12, 2016 at 17:01
  • 1
    Maybe enplaning airplane. The only link I found on Google refers to the passengers getting on a plane. But it seems to me one could apply it to the plane itelf. Aug 12, 2016 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


People use a boarding (air)plane to describe an airplane that is in the process of boarding.

In context, its use appears quite natural.

Have you ever tried to move against the flow on a boarding plane?


According to Genevieve, the anxiety of an empty middle seat on a boarding plane is a feeling they know well.




An enplaning airplane

Most people might not be familiar with the word enplaning. It is the opposite of deplaning. See the included link to 'enplane' at the free dictionary dot com.

The only example I could find on Google:

United States Aviation Reports - Volume 4 - Page 2936:

U. S., 1975 USAvR 31 A valid pre-flight airport security check of enplaning airplane passengers for bombs and weapons does not become illegal because of the unexpected discovery of cocaine as an incident of the bomb and weapons ...


Actually this refers to the airplane passengers. But it seems to me deplane and enplane can be used of airplanes themselves.

I know Wait until the airplane deplanes is possible, because I heard a flight attendant say it over the public address system. So I don't think it's a stretch to say an enplaning airplane, although a boarding airplane, as Jim, suggests, would use a word that is more common.

  • I agree that an enplaning plane makes sense Aug 13, 2016 at 2:45

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