AirPods are the world’s most popular wireless headphones, so many travelers out there inevitably want to know if they can use them on a plane.
Yes, you can use AirPods on a plane, but there are rules concerning when you can use them during a flight, and whether they will work with the in-flight entertainment system or not.
Fortunately, there is a workaround.
Can You Use AirPods on a Plane?
AirPods Airline Policies
AirPods are classified as personal electronic devices (PEDs).
In 2013, the FAA published a report that stated that PEDs can be used without interfering with an aircraft’s operation, and advised airlines to relax the rules concerning PEDs and short-range Bluetooth accessories during a flight.
In the U.S., all major air carriers allow passengers to use PEDs like AirPods during a flight.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
However, whether you can use AirPods throughout the entire duration of the flight, including during takeoff and landing, varies by airline.
- Alaska Airlines: AirPods can be used throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Allegiant Airlines: AirPods can be used, but not during takeoff and landing.
- American Airlines: AirPods are allowed, but not during takeoff and landing.
- Delta: AirPods are allowed, but not during takeoff and landing.
- JetBlue: AirPods can be used throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Southwest: AirPods are allowed, but not during takeoff and landing.
- Spirit Airlines: AirPods can be used throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- United Airlines: AirPods can be used throughout the duration of the entire flight
Domestic vs. International Flights
- FAA: The FAA, which regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the USA, have approved the use of Bluetooth devices on planes since 2013.
- IATA: The IATA (International Air Transport Association), which consists of 290 airlines in over 115 countries, does not allow Bluetooth usage during takeoff and landing.
- TCCA: The TCCA (Transport Canada Civil Aviation) state that you should check with the airline to see if Bluetooth is allowed on a plane when flying.
Can You Use AirPods In Airplane Mode?
If you’ve ever taken a flight before, you likely know that you will be asked to put your device in Airplane Mode, which disables both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Fortunately, you can manually enable Bluetooth on your device, which will then allow your AirPods to work.
How to Use Airpods With the In-Flight Entertainment System
It is unlikely that you will be able to use your AirPods with the in-flight entertainment system on your next flight without a workaround.
This is because very few airlines have equipped their aircraft with Bluetooth support, with just United in the U.S. on selected flights having the technology to do so.
Fortunately, you can buy an airline Bluetooth adapter that will allow you to connect your AirPods.
AirPods users have found that the AirFly Pro is the most reliable option with its 16-hour battery life, making it perfect for long-haul, international flights.
Why Won’t Some Airlines Allow You to Use AirPods During Takeoff and Landing?
Some airlines won’t let you use Bluetooth devices during takeoff and landing due to safety concerns.
There is a concern that Bluetooth devices may cause interference on radio frequencies used for communication between airplanes and control towers.
Airlines would also prefer it if you listened to the onboard announcements by the pilot and cabin crew, which isn’t going to happen if you have AirPods in your ear.
Can You Use Other Bluetooth Devices & Accessories on a Plane?
Besides AirPods, you can also use other Bluetooth devices and accessories on a plane.
- Headphones: You are allowed to use Bluetooth headphones on a plane.
- Phones: You are allowed to use your phone’s Bluetooth on a plane, but cellular data should be switched off.
- Laptops: You can bring a laptop on a plane and use its Bluetooth, but your laptop should be in airplane mode.
- Mouse/Keyboard: You are allowed to use Bluetooth mice and keyboards on a plane.
Robert is an expert in commercial air travel with decades of experience in the travel industry, and has spent countless hours in airports and on planes for work.
Robert therefore has an unrivaled understanding of everything related to commercial air travel, and has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, such as Insider, Trip Savvy, ZDNet, and Bored Panda, showcasing his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field.