If you have an upcoming flight, you might be wondering if Bluetooth will work in Airplane Mode.
Bluetooth will work in Airplane Mode, but you will have to manually turn it on once Airplane Mode has been activated.
There’s a lot more to know about using Bluetooth on a plane though, so in this article we answer some of the most frequently asked questions, including what each airline’s Bluetooth policy is, what Bluetooth devices you can use, and more.
Table of Contents
- 1 On Android and iPhones
- 2 What Bluetooth Devices Can You Use on a Plane?
- 3 Airlines Allow You to Use Bluetooth When Flying
- 4 Bluetooth Must Be Switched Off During Take-off and Landing
- 5 Different Rules May Apply on International Flights
- 6 Bluetooth is Unlikely to Work With the In-Flight Entertainment System
On Android and iPhones
Bluetooth works in Airplane Mode on both Android and iPhone devices.
- Open Control Center on your iPhone
- Tap the Airplane Mode button
- Open Control Center again
- Tap the Bluetooth icon
- Scroll down from the top of the screen to access settings
- Tap the Airplane Mode button
- Tap the Bluetooth button
What Bluetooth Devices Can You Use on a Plane?
- Headphones: You are allowed to use Bluetooth headphones on a plane.
- AirPods: You are allowed to use AirPods 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 flight mode.
- Mouse/Keyboard: You are allowed to use Bluetooth mice and keyboards on a plane.
As you can see, you can use all Bluetooth devices on a plane.
However, each airline will have their own policy as to what stage of the flight you are allowed to have Bluetooth turned on.
Airlines Allow You to Use Bluetooth When Flying
Not all airlines will allow you to use Bluetooth at every stage of a flight.
- Air Canada: Bluetooth is allowed once the plane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. However, if the device is powered by a battery, the battery must be removed.
- Alaska Airlines: Bluetooth is allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Allegiant Airlines: Bluetooth is allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- American Airlines: Bluetooth is allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- Delta: Bluetooth is allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- JetBlue: Bluetooth is allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- Southwest: Bluetooth is allowed, but not during take-off and landing.
- Spirit Airlines: Bluetooth is allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
- United Airlines: Bluetooth is allowed throughout the duration of the entire flight.
Bluetooth Must Be Switched Off During Take-off and Landing
Many airlines require you to switch off Bluetooth during take off and landing because it can cause interference on radio frequencies used for communication between airplanes and control towers.
If Bluetooth is switched off, it also means you can’t use your Bluetooth headphones, which makes it more likely that you will listen to announcements by the pilot and cabin crew
Different Rules May Apply on International Flights
Depending on where you are flying to, the regulations as to whether you can use Bluetooth can differ.
We’ve already covered where all the major air carriers in the USA stand when it comes to using Bluetooth onboard.
But in other countries, especially within Europe, Bluetooth is usually not allowed during take-off and landing.
- 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 take-off 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.
Bluetooth is Unlikely to Work With the In-Flight Entertainment System
You are unlikely to be able to use our Bluetooth headphones with the aircraft’s in-flight entertainment system.
This is nothing to do with safety, but is simply because most in-flight entertainment systems do not have Bluetooth support.
In the USA, United’s Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have Bluetooth support.
Worldwide, Etihad and Qatar Airways support Bluetooth pairing with their in-flight entertainment systems.
In the coming years, this is likely to change, though, as airlines update their aircraft and overhaul their in-flight entertainment systems.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).