The FAA has approved the use of Bluetooth devices since 2013, which includes Bluetooth headphones.
Generally, you can only use Bluetooth headphones at anytime during the flight, except during take-off and landing.
Having said that, some airlines allow you to use Bluetooth headphones during the entire duration of the flight.
You can discover which airlines allow you to use your Bluetooth headphones during the entire flight below.
Airline Regulations for Using Bluetooth Headphones
- Air Canada: Bluetooth headphones are allowed once the plane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. However, if the headphones are powered by a battery, the battery must be removed.
- Alaska Airlines: Bluetooth headphones are allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Allegiant Airlines: Bluetooth headphones allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- American Airlines: Bluetooth headphones are allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- Delta: Bluetooth headphones are allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- JetBlue: Bluetooth headphones are allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Southwest: Bluetooth headphones are allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- Spirit Airlines: Bluetooth headphones are allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- United Airlines: Bluetooth headphones are allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
Domestic vs. International Regulations
- FAA: The FAA, which regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the USA, have approved the use of Bluetooth devices, including Bluetooth headphones, 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 take-off and landing. This includes Bluetooth headphones.
- 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.
Airpods Are Fine
AirPods have Bluetooth support and work similarly to any other pair of Bluetooth headphones.
This means that most airlines will not allow you to use AirPods on a plane, but not during take-off and landing.
Why Bluetooth Must Be Switched Off During Take-off and Landing
The reason why you can’t use your Bluetooth wireless headphones and other Bluetooth devices during take-off and landing is for safety purposes.
There is a concern that Bluetooth devices may cause interference on radio frequencies used for communication between airplanes and control towers.
Additionally, you are more likely to listen to announcements by the pilot and cabin crew if you aren’t wearing your headphones.
Your Bluetooth Headphones Likely Won’t Work With In-Flight Entertainment Systems
You are unlikely to be able to use your Bluetooth headphones with the in-flight entertainment system on your next flight.
This is because very few airlines have equipped their aircraft with Bluetooth support.
In the USA, currently only United offer passengers the option of using their Bluetooth headphones with their in-flight entertainment systems, though this is only on their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.
Worldwide, Etihad and Qatar Airways support Bluetooth pairing with their in-flight entertainment systems.
You can expect this to change in the coming years as more airlines update their aircraft and overhaul their in-flight entertainment systems.
You Might Be Able to Charge Your Headphones
Whether you can charge your Bluetooth headphones on a plane depends on which airline you will be flying with.
This is because only some aircraft are equipped with USB ports.
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United flights are more likely to have USB ports.
All Bluetooth Devices Are Fine to Use
You will have no problem using Bluetooth on a plane, including the most widely Bluetooth devices.
- 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.
Keep in mind that, the same rules apply.
This means that you will generally not be able to use these devices during take-off and landing.
You may have to manually enable Bluetooth on devices like your laptop and phone once you have enabled airplane mode.
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