Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones On Planes? You’ve packed your bags and are ready for that long-awaited plane ride. You’ve checked everything off your list, and then you realize – you need headphones.
But wait a minute, you’ve got Bluetooth headphones. Can I use Bluetooth headphones on planes?
You believe the solution is simple and quick, but think again. I’ll break everything down for you so you can easily plan your trip. I’ve gone through all of the rules so you don’t have to. Everything you need to know before planning your next trip can be found right here.
CAN YOU USE WIRELESS BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES ON PLANES?
Is it possible to use Bluetooth headphones on airplanes? The short answer is yes, they work, and most flights allow you to use Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones, like Bluetooth keyboards, are considered short-range Bluetooth devices.
Because the aircraft interference from short-term Bluetooth devices is minimal, they are usually permitted. However, some airlines and airline regulators prohibit the use of Bluetooth devices on flights. Bluetooth headphones, for example, will not be permitted on some Canadian flights.
While some airlines allow you to use Bluetooth headphones during takeoff and landing, others will ask you to turn them off. But in general, my advice would be to just take them anyway and pack a pair of wired earbuds just in case.
The worst-case scenario would be that the flight attendant would ask you to switch off your Bluetooth headphones. You won’t get into any trouble. Just be respectful and turn them off if anyone asks you to rather than arguing.
WHAT ABOUT AIRPODS?
AirPods operate in the same way that other wireless Bluetooth headphones do. As a result, the rules for them are the same – you’ll be able to use them on most flights, but you’ll almost certainly be asked to turn them off during takeoff and landing.
If your AirPods are set up for Bluetooth access, you will be able to connect to the in-flight entertainment systems. If not, you’ll need to purchase a separate airplane Bluetooth transmitter/receiver, which converts the in-flight entertainment systems’ two-prong audio output to a Bluetooth connection.
WHY CAN’T HEADPHONES BE WORN DURING TAKE-OFF AND LANDING?
The main reason you can’t wear headphones during takeoff and landing is that you need to hear any announcements. If there is an emergency, you must follow the instructions of the flight crew.
Typically, airlines are concerned about headset cables obstructing movement during an evacuation, but this is not a problem with wireless Bluetooth headphones.
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WHICH AIRLINES ALLOW USING BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES ON PLANES?
The final decision on whether to use Bluetooth headphones on flights is determined by the airline. Let’s take a look at some of the most common airline rules right now.
1. American Airlines (AAL)
Bluetooth headphones are permitted but not permitted during takeoff and landing. They have an in-flight entertainment app that you can use with your Bluetooth headphones to watch on your phone or tablet.
Bluetooth headphones are permitted but not permitted during takeoff and landing. Although Delta is adding Bluetooth support to their in-flight entertainment systems, it isn’t yet available on most flights, so you’ll have to use wired headphones.
3. United Airlines (UAL)
Bluetooth headphones are permitted throughout the flight. As of now, most flights will not allow you to use Bluetooth headphones in conjunction with their in-flight entertainment systems.
However, you will be able to use their app for streaming on some flights, and they are currently upgrading their entertainment systems to include Bluetooth support.
4. Southwest Airlines
Bluetooth headphones are permitted but not permitted during takeoff and landing. On Wi-Fi-enabled flights, you’ll be able to use their in-flight entertainment systems through your browser, which means you’ll be able to watch it through your Bluetooth headphones.
You will, however, be charged an additional $8 for internet access during the flight.
Bluetooth headphones are permitted throughout the flight. Unfortunately, Bluetooth headphones will not be compatible with their in-flight entertainment systems.
6. Alaska Airlines
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines’ inflight entertainment systems aren’t compatible with Bluetooth headphones.
7. Spirit Airlines
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. Spirit doesn’t offer any inflight entertainment.
8. Air Canada
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight but only once the plane gets to the height of 10, 000 feet, and the battery must be removable. Their inflight entertainment systems can’t connect to Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. On some aircraft, their inflight entertainment systems will be able to connect to Bluetooth, and on some not. You’ll have to inquire them about each flight individually.
10. Air France
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. They do have an inflight entertainment system but it’s usable only together with wired headphones, which are provided free of charge.
Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. Ryanair doesn’t offer any inflight entertainment systems.
12. British Airways
Bluetooth headphones are allowed, but not during the takeoff and landing. You won’t be able to use Bluetooth headphones together with their inflight entertainment system.
13. Allegiant Air
Bluetooth headphones are allowed, but you’ll have to switch them off during take-off and landing. They aren’t compatible with their inflight entertainment systems.
Bluetooth headphones are permitted, but must be removed during takeoff, landing, and the security briefing.
During the entire flight, all devices must be switched to airplane mode. Because the majority of their flights are very short, EasyJet does not provide in-flight entertainment systems.
15. Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines does not mention the use of Bluetooth devices anywhere on their website. Because they are regulated by the FAA, you should be able to use Bluetooth headphones, but you will be asked to turn them off during takeoff and landing. Frontier Airlines does not provide in-flight entertainment.
16. Qantas Airlines
Bluetooth headphones are permitted, but must be turned off during takeoff and landing. Qantas provides an app for their in-flight entertainment system, which means you can use it with your Bluetooth headphones on your phone or tablet.
Bluetooth headphones are permitted on WestJet, but must be removed during the safety briefing. They also provide an in-flight entertainment app, which you can use with your phone and Bluetooth headphones.
18. Emirates Airlines
Emirates is one of the few airlines that provides Bluetooth connectivity for in-flight entertainment systems on the majority of their flights. Bluetooth headphones are permitted, but must be removed during takeoff, landing, and the safety briefing.
19. Hawaiian Airlines (Hawaiian Airlines)
Bluetooth headphones are permitted on Hawaiian Airlines, but they must be turned off and stowed until the aircraft reaches at least 10,000 feet in altitude.
You’ll also be able to use their in-flight entertainment app, which you can use on your phone or tablet, on Main Cabin and Extra Comfort fares.
Alternative Video: Why You Can’t Use Bluetooth Headphones On Plane?
WHAT DO DIFFERENT AIRLINE REGULATORS SAY ABOUT USING BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES?
Each airline regulator is responsible for a different region, which is why it is critical to understand their rules when flying internationally. For example, on a flight to China, you will be permitted to use Bluetooth headphones for the majority of the flight.
When you enter China, however, you will be asked to turn them off because Bluetooth devices are not permitted on planes. Make sure you understand what to expect on your flights!
1. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)
Because the FAA controls U.S. airspace, the following rules apply to all flights operating within the country. The FAA made some positive changes to electronic device usage during flights in 2013.
Bluetooth devices with a short range, such as wireless keyboards and Bluetooth headphones, can be used throughout the flight, including takeoff and landing.
The only restricted electronic devices are those that use a cellular connection (mobile phones, smartwatches, laptops), and they must be in airplane mode at all times, including take-off and landing. Interference with aircraft communication systems is reduced as a result.
2. TCCA (Transport Canada Civil Aviation)
Transport Canada says that transmitting electronic devices shouldn’t be used on airplanes, but some are okay to use.
They haven’t specifically mentioned Bluetooth devices, and they say that the final decision rests with the specific airline. So if you’re flying within Canada, you should check with the airline you’ll be flying with.
3. IATA (International Air Transport Association)
IATA, which essentially governs the rest of the world (82 percent of total air traffic), hasn’t specifically mentioned Bluetooth headphones. However, IATA prohibits Bluetooth usage during critical stages of the flight, such as takeoff and landing, so you should not use Bluetooth headphones during these times.
4. China Airlines
Bluetooth headphones may be used during the flight, but must be turned off during takeoff and landing, according to Air China.
Bluetooth connections are permitted only during non-critical stages of the flight, and all portable devices must be switched to airplane mode.
CAN YOU USE BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES WITH INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT TO WATCH MOVIES?
On longer flights, airlines provide in-flight entertainment, allowing you to watch the latest movies on the built-in screen in the front seat. I don’t go to the movies very often, so I usually take advantage of this opportunity to watch the latest films that aren’t available on Netflix.
Unfortunately, the built-in entertainment systems are often quite outdated, and you won’t be able to connect them to your Bluetooth headphones very often. Most of them still use the two-pin AUX input, which means you’ll have to settle for the headphones provided by the airline.
However, you’ll be relieved to know that there is a workaround for this. You can connect your Bluetooth headphones to airplane entertainment systems that still use the two-pin input if you purchase a Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver.
Simply connect the two-pin end to the in-flight entertainment system, then connect your Bluetooth headphones to this device. Your headphones should now be connected.
Some airlines, such as American Airlines, provide entertainment apps that you can download to your device and use via the plane’s Wi-Fi.
If you download this app, you will be able to use your Bluetooth headphones without the need for any technical knowledge. Keep in mind that only some airlines provide this, so you’ll have to use Bluetooth transmitters to connect your Bluetooth headphones most of the time.
DO BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES WORK WITH PHONES ON AIRPLANE MODE?
Bluetooth is considered a transmitting signal, which is why some devices switch off Bluetooth as soon as you press “Airplane mode.”
That’s why a lot of people think that Bluetooth headphones won’t work while the phone is in Airplane mode. However, you should still be able to switch Bluetooth back on by clicking the Bluetooth icon once again.
Here’s how you do that:
1. iOS (Apple Devices)
Turning on Airplane mode on an Apple device does not disable Bluetooth. It used to be a problem, but with the introduction of Apple Airpods, that problem was resolved.
Switching on Airplane mode on Android devices (Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, Google, OnePlus) disables Bluetooth.
You can re-enable it by going to the phone settings and turning Bluetooth back on (click on the grayed-out Bluetooth icon until it turns blue again). This will re-enable Bluetooth while keeping the airplane mode turned on.
WILL YOU BE ABLE TO CHARGE BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES DURING THE FLIGHT?
Most older aircraft and low-cost airlines lack charging ports where you could charge your Bluetooth headphones. Some airlines, however, provide USB ports on some of their aircraft.
For example, Southwest does not provide charging ports, and Delta only provides charging ports on first-class tickets on the following aircraft: 737, 757, and 767-300. On the majority of their aircraft, American Airlines provides charging ports.
HOW TO USE TWO BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES AT THE SAME TIME?
Even in 2022, airlines rarely provide in-flight entertainment systems in front seats that can be used with Bluetooth headphones. Even if they do, you can only use them with one pair of headphones.
Some airlines, however, now provide apps for their in-flight entertainment systems that you can use on your phone or tablet. Most newer tablets and smartphones now support dual audio. Most notably, almost all Samsung and Apple devices will be able to connect to multiple Bluetooth headphones.
However, there is another option. If you buy a Bluetooth transmitter/receiver with a two-prong adapter, you can connect to most old-school in-flight entertainment systems on multiple devices at the same time. This depends on the adapter, but most allow you to use at least two headphones at the same time.
WHICH ARE THE BEST NOISE-CANCELING BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES FOR TRAVEL?
On planes, noise-cancelling headphones are a godsend. You’ll be able to listen to movies and music on a much deeper level, and they’re also great for sleeping on planes.
I usually put on some soothing background noises in my noise-cancelling headphones and fall asleep almost instantly. I have trouble sleeping without them, especially if I’m sitting near children. Almost everyone agrees that the best noise-cancelling headphones are made by Sony or Bose.
Two popular models in particular are frequently highlighted as the best possible options. They are extremely expensive, but they are well worth the money. Let’s take a look at both of these options so you can decide which one is best for you!
1. Sony WH1000XM3 Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones
These Sony headphones are among the most well-known high-end models on the market. Despite their high price, they are jam-packed with the most up-to-date features. Because of the built-in Sony chip, these headphones are quite intelligent.
Without the chip, you wouldn’t be able to hear anything because the sound isolation is so good. All important ambient noises, such as announcements and conversations, will be passed through the chip.
You’ll notice that these headphones have built-in touch support on the side. For example, if you’re listening to music and need to talk to someone, simply move your hand over the touch panel and the music will stop. You’ll notice that you can hear everything without removing your headphones! They also include built-in Alexa support.
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones
Until Sony stepped up their game, Bose noise-cancelling headphones were the market leaders. Many people now agree that the Sony WH1000XM3 headphones are slightly better than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
Having said that, the Bose Series 2 headphones are still very good, which is why they’re still regarded as one of the best high-end options available. They have Alexa built in and very impressive noise-cancelling hardware. Instead of the touch control system found on Sony headphones, the Bose headphones are controlled by buttons or voice.
Overall, they’re more comfortable and lighter than Sony’s WH1000XM3 headphones. The battery life isn’t as impressive at only 20 hours, but many users claim that it will last longer, closer to 25 hours.
Finally, when it comes to Bluetooth headsets, each airline will have its own set of rules. If you want to be proactive and ensure that there will be no problems on your flight, consider calling and speaking with someone from your specific airline to get the go-ahead before you board. Most airlines permit the use of Bluetooth headphones, including Air Pods.
FAQs About Riding Planes With Bluetooth Headphones
Do you have to take headphones out of your bag at the airport?
Small headphones, whether wired or wireless, can be left in your bag while passing through the security checkpoint. Over-ear headphones larger than a cell phone should be removed from your bag and placed in a bin for separate screening at the checkpoint.
Is it permissible to bring my own headphones on a plane?
“Because headphones are worn on your ear rather than in your ear, the airline can reuse them,” Deane explains. For added hygiene, airlines usually change the foam around the earpiece. The two-socket plug used by airlines for headphones is there to discourage you from using them.
What kind of headphones can you use on a plane?
The short answer is yes, they work, and you can use Bluetooth headphones on most flights. Bluetooth headphones are considered to be short-range Bluetooth devices, similar to Bluetooth keyboards.
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