Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones on an Airplane – Rules To Know

2. Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones on an Airplane1

You can use Bluetooth headphones on airplanes, that much is true. That’s because they’re short-range devices and typically interfere with aircraft in a negligible way. In 2013, the FAA, which is strict when it comes to aircraft safety, determined that Bluetooth was safe.

However, many airlines advise their customers to avoid using Bluetooth devices during takeoff or landing and to save that use for once the plane is in the air. Not all airlines follow the same policies; some might be more rigid or lax regarding the use of Bluetooth devices.

Can Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Be Used On Planes?

Do Bluetooth headphones actually function on airplanes? Yes, they function and can be used on most flights, is the quick response. Similar to Bluetooth keyboards, Bluetooth headphones are regarded as short-range Bluetooth devices. Short-term Bluetooth devices rarely interfere with aircraft communications, so they are typically permitted.

However, some airlines and aviation authorities forbid the use of any Bluetooth devices while flying. For instance, on some Canadian flights, Bluetooth headphones are not permitted. Furthermore, some airlines will ask you to turn off your Bluetooth headphones even though they permit their use during takeoff and landing.

However, in general, I’d suggest bringing a pair of wired earbuds just in case and just taking them anyway. In the worst case, the flight attendant might request that you turn off your Bluetooth headphones. You won’t encounter any issues. If anyone asks you to turn them off, just do so politely and don’t engage in argumentative behavior.

Are Bluetooth Headphones Compatible With Seatback Screens?

It may seem surprising that it took major carriers this long to implement the technology. Although Bluetooth isn’t exactly a new technology, there have always been connectivity problems when dozens of Bluetooth devices are linked together in a small space. Only recently has the cabin technology been created that enables dependable simultaneous connections.

It’s becoming more uncommon to see people using wired headphones now that wireless headphones are so widely available and affordable, and Bluetooth is so common in gadgets. In the year 2020, requiring travelers to have headphones with a 3.5mm audio jack seems outdated. More airlines will probably soon adopt this capability now that the technology is available.

This should also allay your concerns if you’re a traveler who’s unsure about Bluetooth’s safety during flights. If it were hazardous, United and other airlines wouldn’t be putting in systems that let more than a hundred passengers connect their Bluetooth devices at once on a flight.

What About Airpods?

Like other wireless Bluetooth headphones, AirPods operate in a similar manner. As a result, the regulations are the same for both of them; you can use them on most flights but will probably be asked to turn them off during takeoff and landing.

If the in-flight entertainment systems are set up for Bluetooth access, your AirPods will function while you’re flying and you’ll be able to connect to them. If not, you’ll need to purchase a separate airplane Bluetooth transmitter/receiver, which transforms the in-flight entertainment systems’ two-prong audio output into a Bluetooth connection.

Current Bluetooth Rules

  • Delta – Not allowed during takeoff and landing (seatback connectivity coming soon)
  • United Airlines – No restrictions on when you can use Bluetooth
  • American Airlines – Not allowed during takeoff and landing
  • Southwest Airlines – Not allowed during takeoff and landing
  • JetBlue – No restrictions on when you can use Bluetooth
  • Spirit Airlines – No restrictions on when you can use Bluetooth

You can technically use your Bluetooth headphones to watch or listen to movies, TV shows, or music in their library because all of the airlines listed (aside from Spirit) offer a variety of free IFE that can be streamed via an app (or, in the case of Southwest, an internet browser). Nothing prevents you from using your Bluetooth headphones as long as you’re using your own personal device. Only United has so far made the technology available for users to link their wireless Bluetooth headphones directly to their seatbacks.

Why Can’t I Wear Headphones During Takeoff And Landing?

You must be able to hear any announcements during takeoff and landing, which is the main reason headphones are not permitted. You must listen to instructions from the crew of the aircraft in the event of an emergency. However, with wireless Bluetooth headphones, this is not a concern. Typically, airlines are concerned about headset cables obstructing movements in the event of an evacuation.

Do I Still Need To Keep My Phone In Airplane Mode?

Yes, that is a restriction that won’t be lifted anytime soon. This can be difficult because even though Bluetooth is safe on airplanes, many phones still turn it off when you put the phone in airplane mode. After putting your phone in airplane mode, you’ll typically be able to activate particular features, like Bluetooth. However, you shouldn’t use your cellular data while flying.

What Airlines Permit The Use Of Bluetooth Headphones On Board?

Whether you use Bluetooth headphones on a flight ultimately depends on the airline you’re using. Here, let’s look at some of the more well-known airline regulations.

American Airlines

While not permitted during takeoff and landing, Bluetooth headphones are permitted otherwise. You can use your phone or tablet and Bluetooth headphones with their in-flight entertainment app.


Bluetooth headphones are permitted, but they cannot be worn during takeoff or landing. Even though Delta is adding Bluetooth support for their in-flight entertainment systems, it isn’t generally available yet, so you can only use wired headphones.

United Airlines

While flying, Bluetooth headphones are permitted. You won’t be able to use Bluetooth headphones with their in-flight entertainment systems as of right now on the majority of flights. However, some flights will allow you to stream content using their app, and they are currently updating their entertainment systems to support Bluetooth.

Southwest Airlines

While not permitted during takeoff and landing, Bluetooth headphones are permitted otherwise. You can watch it on your Bluetooth headphones when using the in-flight entertainment systems on flights with Wi-Fi because you can use your browser to access them. However, internet access during the flight will cost you an additional $8.


During the entire flight, Bluetooth headphones are permitted. The in-flight entertainment systems will be able to connect to Bluetooth on some aircraft, but not on others. You’ll need to ask them specifically about each flight.

Air France

Bluetooth headphones are allowed during the whole flight. There is an in-flight entertainment system, but it can only be used with the free wired headphones that are offered.


While flying, Bluetooth headphones are permitted. No in-flight entertainment systems are provided by Ryanair.

British Airways

It is acceptable to use Bluetooth headphones, but not during takeoff or landing. Their in-flight entertainment system does not support Bluetooth headphones.

Air Canada

Although they must have a removable battery, Bluetooth headphones are permitted for the duration of the flight once the aircraft reaches a height of 10,000 feet. They don’t have Bluetooth headphone connections for their in-flight entertainment systems.


Throughout the entire flight, Bluetooth headphones are permitted. They do not currently have in-flight entertainment systems that support Bluetooth headphones.

Alaska Airlines

The entire flight may be conducted with Bluetooth headphones. Unfortunately, Bluetooth headphones are incompatible with Alaska Airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems.

Spirit Airlines

While flying, Bluetooth headphones are permitted. In-flight entertainment is not available on Spirit.

Allegiant Air

However, you must turn them off during takeoff and landing. Bluetooth headphones are permitted. With their in-flight entertainment systems, they are incompatible.


Bluetooth headphones are permitted, but they must be stored away during takeoff, landing, and the security briefing. Throughout the entirety of the flight, all devices must be in airplane mode. Since the majority of their flights are very brief, EasyJet does not provide in-flight entertainment.

Frontier Airlines

Unfortunately, Bluetooth device usage is not mentioned anywhere online by Frontier Airlines. You can probably use Bluetooth headphones because they are governed by FAA regulations, but you will be required to turn them off during takeoff and landing. There are no in-flight entertainment systems available on Frontier Airlines.

Qantas Airlines

However, they must be turned off during takeoff and landing. Bluetooth headphones are permitted. You can use your phone or tablet and Bluetooth headphones with the in-flight entertainment system that Qantas offers thanks to the availability of an app for it.

2. Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones on an Airplane2

What About Power?

Battery life is the only additional issue with using personal electronics while flying. Draining your phone during the flight is a hassle, especially if you still need to call for a ride once you land or book an Uber. Virgin America is the only airline that provides standard power outlets and USB ports for charging at almost every seat. While First Class and occasionally Business Class on Delta, US Airways, United, and American Airlines have power outlets, they are typically not accessible to passengers in economy.

The one benefit of the dependable, traditional 3.5mm headphone is that they are powerless. Unless you’re fortunate enough to be in a seat with an outlet or a USB port for charging, if your Bluetooth headphone battery runs out mid-flight, you’ll likely be without headphones for the rest of your trip.

Making The Most Of Each Passenger’s Time In The Air

At Rosen Aviation, we are passionate about creating cabin technologies that give passengers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience. We specialize in a variety of IFEC technologies and cabin controls that make it simple to control every element of cabin entertainment and comfort.

What Do Distinct Airline Regulators Have To Say About Using Bluetooth Headphones?

It’s critical to be aware of the regulations of the various airline regulators when flying internationally because they each have jurisdictions that they cover. You may be able to use Bluetooth headphones for the majority of a flight to China, for example. However, when you enter China, where Bluetooth devices are not permitted on planes, you will be asked to turn them off. Make sure you are prepared for your flights!

FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)

The United States is governed by the FAA. airspace, which means that the following rules apply to all flights operating within the U.S. In 2013, the FAA made some changes that are good for using electronic devices while flying. Wireless keyboards and Bluetooth headphones are examples of short-range Bluetooth devices that can be used throughout the entire flight, including takeoff and landing.

The only electronic devices that are restricted are ones that use a cellular connection (mobile phones, smartwatches, laptops) and they must be in airplane mode at all times, including take-off and landing. The aircraft communication systems are subject to less interference as a result.

TCCA (Transport Canada Civil Aviation)

Using some transmitting electronic devices is permitted, according to Transport Canada, but not all. They claim that the final decision is up to the specific airline, but they haven’t specifically mentioned Bluetooth devices. Therefore, if you’re flying within Canada, you should check with the airline you’ll be using.

LATA (International Air Transport Association)

IATA, which essentially governs the rest of the world (82% of total air traffic,) hasn’t mentioned especially Bluetooth headphones. You shouldn’t use Bluetooth headphones during the critical phases of the flight because IATA forbids its use during those moments, which include takeoff and landing.

Air China

Bluetooth headphones can be used during the flight, according to Air China, but they must be turned off during takeoff and landing. Bluetooth connections are only permitted during the less-important parts of the flight, and all portable electronics must be in airplane mode.

Can You Watch Movies On In-flight Entertainment With Bluetooth Headphones?

Airlines provide in-flight entertainment on longer flights, allowing passengers to watch the newest films on the built-in screen in the front seat. I don’t go to the movies very often, so I typically take advantage of this opportunity to watch the newest releases that aren’t yet on Netflix.

Unfortunately, the built-in entertainment systems are frequently quite outdated, and you won’t always be able to pair them with your Bluetooth headphones. You must use the headphones that the airline provides because the majority of them still use the two-pin AUX input. It’s good to know that there is a workaround for this, though.

In-flight entertainment systems that still accept the two-pin input can be connected to Bluetooth headphones if you buy a Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver. Your Bluetooth headphones should be connected to the in-flight entertainment system after you plug in the two-pin end of the cable.
You can download entertainment apps from some airlines, like American Airlines, and use them while connected to the airplane’s Wi-Fi. You won’t need to use any tech-savvy hacks to use your Bluetooth headphones if you download this app. The majority of the time, you’ll need to use Bluetooth transmitters to connect your Bluetooth headphones because only a select few airlines provide this.

Can I Charge My Bluetooth Earbuds On The Plane?

Several USB ports are available for charging your devices, depending on the airline and the flight. Unfortunately, the majority of older aircraft lack USB ports.

American Airlines: The majority of aircraft will have power outlets, but they might be DC outlets. In that case, an adapter might be required. All seats on American Airlines are equipped with power outlets, but only in the Business and First classes. In the main cabin, power outlets will also be available, but only in a few rows. You ought to make sure with them first, in my opinion.

Delta Airlines: On a number of its first-class 737 and 757 aircraft, Delta offers power outlets. On all domestic 767-300 aircraft, power outlets are additionally available. On all 737-700, 737-800, 757-200, 767-300, 767-400ER, and 777-200ER aircraft, USB ports are accessible in each seat. Therefore, you should be alright for the most part.

JetBlue: On every seat of the Airbus A321, JetBlue provides a power outlet that is compatible with different countries. You won’t need to use an adapter as a result. Each of these power ports comes with a separate USB port as well. On top of that, the JetBlue “Mint Experience” cabin provides passengers with access to two power ports in each seat. For your dual laptop setup, ideal.

These are only a few of the airlines, and it is clear that there aren’t many left in the market. Therefore, I advise you to do some research beforehand, bring a power bank, or charge your gadgets. Another benefit of using headphones is that they have continuous listening times of more than 12 hours if you have a good pair.

With The In-flight Entertainment System, Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones?

Watching movies and TV shows on the in-flight entertainment system is fantastic. Even newer films that haven’t made it to Netflix can be found.

The problem is that most in-flight entertainment systems don’t use Bluetooth for audio; instead, they rely on the AUX cord. Therefore, you must use wired headphones or the ones the airline provides; just be sure to follow the rules regarding proper behavior on board.

But if you travel a lot and experience these problems, I advise getting an airplane Bluetooth adapter. You can use them just like a TWS case, and they are incredibly portable. With the case, they can be fully recharged four more times for a total of six hours of battery life. (summing up the total battery time to 30 hours)

You can connect to this device using your headphones by simply plugging them into the AUX cord. Easy Peasy.

The price of this adapter can actually be used to purchase a decent pair of low-end TWS earbuds, which is unfortunate because these are not very inexpensive. But it’s good to be aware of our choices.

As we previously mentioned when comparing various airlines, a number of them allow you to watch movies through their apps. So you’re in luck if you manage to fly with one of these airlines frequently! You don’t have to buy a fancy adapter or sit there with “wired” headphones rotting your ears.

We have concluded after taking into account the information provided above that many people who are taking their first flight might be concerned about using their Bluetooth headphones. Well, fear not! Because, we’ve found out that most airlines do allow you to wear your All flight segments, with the exception of landing and takeoff, were conducted with Bluetooth headphones.


When you have to endure a 6-hour flight, using headphones to watch a movie or listen to music is a lifesaver. However, many passengers are worried about whether the airlines will allow them to use their Bluetooth headphones instead of their “wired” options. In most cases, the answer to that question is “yes,” they will permit passengers to use Bluetooth headphones.

What kind of headphones to bring and whether the in-flight entertainment system can keep them entertained are the real questions they need to ask themselves.

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