Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane? (Have a Safe Trip)

Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane? This question has undoubtedly crossed everyone's thoughts at least once.

You're about to go on an incredible journey as a passenger on an airplane, but have you considered all of the airline's baggage restrictions? You simply don't recall seeing anything about headphones.

You are aware that you are not permitted to use your phone on an airline, but they do allow you to use your phone to view the in-flight entertainment.

So, how about your own pair of Bluetooth headphones?


Key takeaway

Yes, you can use Bluetooth on a plane, but there may be certain restrictions and limitations depending on the airline

. Some airlines allow the use of Bluetooth wireless headphones during flights, while others have strict restrictions. However, it is always recommended to turn off your Bluetooth during takeoff, landing, and taxiing for safety reasons

. Additionally, it is important to note that wifi and Bluetooth are not permitted unless in flight mode


Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?

However, you are not permitted to use wifi or Bluetooth on an airplane unless they are in ‘flight mode.' The main cause for concern is ground network interference, which means your signal may interfere with airline communication. Bluetooth devices with a short-range, such as headphones, represent less of a risk.

Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?
Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?

Why are Headphones Prohibited on Airplanes?

I understand Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transmitting gadgets, but I've heard that certain airlines prohibit the usage of high-end noise-cancelling headphones. What's the deal with that?

And, because the restrictions vary depending on the airline (foreign carriers have their own set of laws), you never know whether it's a yes or a no. Where is the logic here?

Due to safety concerns, some airlines prohibit the use of personal headphones.

Noise canceling headphone, for example, can prevent you from hearing emergency instructions. To be safe, consult with the attendant and turn it off during taxiing, take-off, and landing.

We can all agree that safety precautions should be taken. I just wish they'd all get together and agree on a uniform rule (or, better yet, accept the few occasions when I can wear my noise-cancelling headphones in peace).

There is one exception to this rule, another bizarre airline policy. When listening to personal electronic devices, all passengers must use bluetooth headset

It turns out that you must wear wired headphones (non-cancelling) to avoid disturbing your other passengers.

Why Are Airlines Concerned About Bluetooth?

Wireless interference is the major reason that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) limit PED use during flights. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows individual airlines to determine if and how you can use portable devices.

Most airlines permit the use of these devices, although with restrictions. We'll go over individual airline regulations in more detail later.

The belief is that navigation and communication systems are vulnerable during travel.

The pilot must be able to communicate freely with air traffic control. It is also crucial for aviation instrumentation to function properly, and some studies have linked PED use to anomalies in cockpit controls.

You've probably encountered wireless interference when using your cell phone or other Bluetooth wireless device at some point.

Can you recall a moment when you had multiple users on your network at the same time? Did your internet connection slow down or disconnect you?

Have you ever had your Bluetooth mouse pointer hop all over the place on your computer screen? These are only a few instances of WiFi interference.

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And why it's a safety issue that airlines must closely monitor. Not to mention the social interactions that frequently accompany technology use. You can't excuse yourself and go into another room to take a call or listen to music on a flight.

Most airlines have particular and stringent restrictions in place to control or prohibit this conduct. However, there are some things you can do to prepare for these restrictions that will not result in an aviation disaster, get you barred from flying, or cause conflict with your fellow passengers.

Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane? (Have a Safe Trip) 4

Let's start by determining whether your Bluetooth headphones are permitted on an airline.

Will my Bluetooth headphones be Compatible with the Airline's Entertainment System?

Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?
Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?

Some airlines provide complimentary headphones, but they aren't usually of high quality and aren't appropriate for those who value excellent-sounding Bluetooth headphones.

Headphones are available for purchase on some flights. Again, they aren't always of the highest quality. But at the very least, you can listen – which is better than nothing.

You are welcome to bring your own headphones, however there may be restrictions. You should get an airplane headphone adaptor.

It transforms a one-pin headphone jack into a two-pin socket. This form of link is still used by several airlines.

A dongle, which is a gadget used to connect wireless or broadband, will be required for AirPods.

My recommendation is to choose a device with a lengthy battery life or ensure that you can charge your smartphone. You should bring an extra pair of conventional cabled earbuds with you just in case. Extra bluetooth earbuds are always a smart idea, regardless of the sort of headphones you choose. You never know when you'll require them.

Make sure you have the proper adapters. They are moderately priced and easily accessible. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Later, I'll show you how to use adapters and Bluetooth in Airplane or Flight Mode.

The basic line is that you can wear wireless Bluetooth headphone on an airplane, but make sure to check the airline's website first.

Which World's Leading Airlines will allow me to bring my Bluetooth headphones?

PEDs must be utilized in Airplane Mode by all airlines. Some airlines prohibit the use of PEDs during takeoff and landing. Some airlines prohibit the use of handheld devices below 10,000 feet.

  • Air Canada– Use at 10,000 feet only. The battery must beremovable.
  • JetBlue Airways– None Specified
  • Delta Air Lines– None Specified
  • Southwest Airlines– None Specified
  • Alaska Airlines– Below 10,000 feet, the use of small electronic devices and short-range Bluetooth equipment is prohibited. And must be switched off and stowed during flight and landing in Mexico.
  • WestJet– Headphones must be taken off during safety demonstrations.
  • Air Transat– Any device exceeding 160 Wh battery is prohibited.
  • United States Airlines– Within the United States, the aircraft mode can be used at any time. It is not authorized to fly between the United States and international destinations during takeoff and landing. Outside of the United States, only flights beyond 10,000 feet are permitted.
  • American Airlines-Must be removed during security announcements and safety demonstrations.
  • Porter Airlines– Can't be used during takeoff or landing.
  • Spirit Airlines– Small devices, less than 2lbs, can be used during all phases of the flight, including taxi, takeoff, and landing. Larger devices, such as laptops, can only be used above 10,000 feet after flight attendants announce it is safe to use them. All flights operating outside of the US do not allow PED use below 10,000 feet.
  • Aeromexico– May not be used during takeoff and landing.
  • Frontier Airlines– Can be used during all phases of the flight.
  • Volaris– Cannot be used during takeoff or landing.
  • Interjet– May be used during all phases of flight.
  • Allegiant Air– May be used during all phases of flight.
  • Hawaiian Airlines- May be used when instructed by a flight attendant.
  • VivaAerobus– Must be turned off when the flight crew tells you to do so.
  • Sun Country Airlines– May be used during all phases of flight.
  • Sunwing Airlines– No specific regulations listed.
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Other airlines that allow you to bring and use Bluetooth headphones and wireless device include:

  • Air France
  • Ryanair
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines

Despite the fact that most of these renowned airlines permit the use of wireless headphones, there is a common rule that they all expect their passengers to follow. You must activate the flight mode on your Bluetooth device. When taxiing, taking off, or landing, you should not use your Bluetooth earbuds.

Lest I forget, some airlines flying from Africa and the Middle East to the United States have various policies on the usage of wireless Bluetooth headphones. Wireless earbuds, for example, are not permitted on Emirates and Qatar Airlines flights to the United States. Turkish Airlines also prohibits the use of headphones on their flight deck.

Some airlines prohibit the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones because they do not want their passengers to be distracted in a potentially dangerous situation. In fact, some airlines prohibit the use of noise-cancelling headphones.

Is it possible for Airport Security to Confiscate your Bluetooth Headphones?

If the rules differ so drastically, it raises some concerns regarding airport security. Will these folks take my brand new Audio-Technica ATH-M50x if they'll take a half-drunk bottle of water? I'd rather go without music on a journey to Europe than risk that?

Airport security will not accept your headphones. There is no justification for this, as the Transport Security Association (TSA) even claims on their website that headphones are permitted in carry-on or checked luggage. The TSA officer, on the other hand, has the last say.

While that final sentence may appear to be concerning, it is often intended for scenarios in which, for example, a police dog begins sniffing your leg and then climbs up and grabs your headphones.

You should be concerned about far more than your confiscated headphones at that point.

How To Use Bluetooth In Airplane Mode

If you want to use the in-flight entertainment, you'll need to connect to the airline's connectivity capabilities, either through WiFi or an adaptor for analog signal conversion.

If you're lucky enough to fly with a carrier that has in-flight WiFi, you can simply connect to the airline's streaming entertainment over Bluetooth on your phone or tablet.

If you have a Bluetooth transmitter and adapter, Airplane or Flight Mode will not interfere with your Bluetooth connection.

If you need to connect via an audio jack, you'll need a converter for a two-pin port or an appropriate audio cable for single jack ports.

A dongle adaptor is required for AirPods and AirPod Pros. For the most part, the setup is quite standard for these adapters.

  1. Check that your adaptor is completely charged.
  2. Press the button for a long time to activate pairing.
  3. Turn on your headphones and put them in pairing mode.
  4. Wait until the blinking lights have correctly synchronised.
  5. Insert your adaptor and you should be good to go.
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Turning off Bluetooth on your laptop or smartphone may be necessary to prevent your headphones from connecting to them instead of the airline's entertainment system.

As long as your Bluetooth capability is enabled, your Bluetooth headphone will connect normally.

The trick is to know when and how to connect once on the plane.

Keep an Eye out for Changes in the use of Wireless Headphones in Flight in the future

Keep in mind that anything can happen at any time, and you will not be disappointed. As technology evolves, airline policies regarding the usage of electronics in airplanes may evolve over time. Change is constant, and the laws governing the use of wireless Bluetooth earphones, like other airline policies, are subject to change at any time. However, while the rule is in effect, you can have fun and enjoy yourself while embarking on that long voyage.

Conclusion: Can you use Bluetooth on a Plane?

Most airlines allow passengers to bring and use Bluetooth devices on board. However, be aware that there are distinct regulations regarding when you can use them. Some airlines let you to use them throughout the flight, while others prohibit you from using them during taxi, take-off, or landing. Some places do not accept Bluetooth devices at all.

Bluetooth gadgets (including those with Lithium batteries) are generally permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage. However, keep in mind that if your equipment is placed in checked baggage, it is very likely that it will be stolen.

It is critical to ensure that your bluetooth device are in airplane mode during a flight – this is the one thing you must not forget! However, when you put your device in airplane mode, it may fail to connect to Bluetooth. In such a circumstance, manually turn off your cellular network and reconnect.

Often, you won't be able to connect your Bluetooth headphones or wireless headphones to the in-flight entertainment system. As instance, because headphones are powered by a battery, they will ultimately lose their charge. You won't be able to enjoy the in-flight entertainment if you don't have headphones. To avoid such instances, bring along a pair of wired headphones, apple airpods or airpods pro or your personal electronic device to keep you entertained when boredom strikes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Why Is It Controversial to Use Bluetooth HeTadphones on Planes?

To receive and deliver data, Bluetooth wireless technology and transmitting portable electronic devices use Wi-Fi, short radio transmitters, or high frequency. All of this is thought to create instrument display malfunctions as well as interference with communication and navigation systems. Because passengers carry gadgets with varying amounts of power, it is difficult to state definitively the exact effect of these devices after multiple studies to examine the use of devices while in an airplane.

Do Airport Security Officers Seize Bluetooth Headphones?

Headphones are an investment, not to mention their dedication to keeping you calm and entertained. Most passengers, however, are concerned that airport security may take their headphones. This is not true because they will return it to you once you arrive at your destination.

Can you view movies on a plane with Bluetooth headphones?

In general, you can use any Bluetooth device that does not infringe the airline's guidelines. Headphones, keyboards, and mice are the most commonly used gadgets. I can't think of anything else you'd need on a plane.

Trina Oralde

I'm a tech writer and contributor who covers the latest in gadgets and technology. I keep my finger on the pulse of the tech world, so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date on the latest with me!


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