I wonder whether there is any difference between a last call and a final call, in the context of boarding airplanes. E.g., does one of the term indicate a higher level of urgency?

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    If the announcement is made manually by a staff in an airport that has automated announcements, it is made because the staff can see in their system that some of the checked-in passengers did not show-up at the gate on time, so they use whatever word (final or last) to urge the late passengers to show-up. It really has no difference, it is just their choice.. Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 22:10
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    It means you are late and no, you don’t have time to stop at the duty free shop :-p
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 22:25
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    Neither word is technical jargon, AFAIK; they are just used with their ordinary English meanings, which are the same. I sometimes hear "last and final call" which is simply redundant, or maybe used for added emphasis. Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 23:30

3 Answers 3


No. There's no official glossary of terms used for this purpose. Both "last call" and "final call" are simply ways of saying "we will soon leave without you unless you board."

I should add there's also no particular time frame defined universally for what "soon" means in that context. You can check your airline's policy around when doors close for more information.

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    FWIW, in Singapore Changi, "Final Call" is the 2nd last warning up to an hour before departure, and "Gate Closing" is the message flashed up half an hour or so before. (Gates actually close 15 min before departure. Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 2:58
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    Yes it could be anything from "monitors around the airport say 'final call' for 45 minutes before the gate actually closes" to "the gate agent says 'final call' over the PA system 30 seconds before shutting the door." Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 3:03
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    On more than one occasion, I heard "final call" several times for the same flight, at five to ten minute intervals.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 3:21
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    They can't just leave without you! They need to first unload your luggage, if any , that was checked in. causing further delays.
    – dezkev
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 6:00
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    @BruceWayne It's required for security reasons for some flights: Positive Passenger Bag Matching. Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 22:02

The approach of this answer is based on my recollection that you are a French speaker.

French Wiktionary defines English final thus:

  1. Dernier.
  2. Définitif.
  3. Final.

Its definition for English last is

  1. Dernier. À la fin.

(Senses 2 and 3 do not apply here.)

English Wiktionary defines last, in the relevant sense, as "final, ultimate, coming after all others of its kind," and gives the French translation as dernier. For final, it gives the definition "last; ultimate," and the French translation dernier; ultime.

The words are synonymous.

Besides, in the US, you're more likely than anything else to hear the redundant "this is the last and final boarding call for...."

  • Thanks! Speaking of French, I remember hearing at some airport "tout dernier appel" to mean that was truly the last call. (Which was then lossily translated with "last call" in the subsequent English announcement). Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 17:43
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    @FranckDernoncourt most natural-language translation is lossy. Perhaps "very last" would be the best combination of accuracy and idiom in any other context, but "last and final" would probably have to win in this context, at least for a descriptivist.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 17:49
  • @phoog So rather than a travel question, this is really a question for English Language & Usage :P
    – Peter M
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 19:14
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    @PeterM it's both, don't you think?
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 19:23
  • Personally I think in this particular case it's turned out to be more language question than a travel question.
    – Peter M
    Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 20:02

The last call is the last opportunity for passengers to board the aircraft(like 5–10 minutes left for passengers to board) The final numbers have been sending to compute the final departure figures (weights, passenger count, etc.) for the flight & the final call is also to tell the passenger to take off is going & you have to come to the seat before onboarding.

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