Can You Use Airpods On A Plane: Tips On Wireless Earphones

We all love listening to our favorite songs while traveling, and AirPods can guarantee audiophiles like me an exceptional and relaxing flight.


Traveling by plane has numerous restrictions, the most common being switching off our mobile phones. Therefore, if you’re an audiophile, I’m sure you have asked yourself, “can you use Airpods on a plane?”

Understanding Facts About Using Airpods On A Plane

Anybody can use their AirPods while traveling on a plane. This was approved in 2013 when the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) allowed everyone to carry Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) while traveling. 

PEDs are lightweight electrical-powered equipment with little to no Bluetooth range, including wireless headphones, electronic toys, MP3 players, and Airpods, among other short-range Bluetooth accessories.

Airpods are small, lightweight equipment with a short Bluetooth range; therefore, you can use them on planes.

But you will have to switch your AirPods off during some crucial stages of your journey, like landing and take-off. You must enable Airplane mode during the flight; therefore, you will need to disconnect them from your smartphone. With your phone on airplane mode, you will have to manually switch on Bluetooth to enjoy your music.

Unfortunately, if you don’t store your music offline, then you can’t listen to your songs using the AirPods on your smartphone. Therefore, before leaving your house, you should try and store all your favorite songs offline and enjoy them while on a flight; after all, your cell phone will be in airplane mode.

Plus, planes have a WiFi network; therefore, you can look for some music and listen to them; hopefully, you can find what you like.

Airlines Do Let Passengers Use Airpods On A Plane

The answer to this question will depend on the airline you use. Even though the FAA has approved the usage of these devices during flights, some American Airlines still prohibit passengers from using Bluetooth devices during flights. Some old planes can be affected by Bluetooth waves.

And that is because they believe that Bluetooth waves can interfere with the aircraft’s navigation system; therefore, some airlines don’t allow passengers to use Airpods.

Fortunately, most popular airlines, including American Airlines, allow folks to use AirPods once their plane reaches 10,000ft. On the other hand, some airlines like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Alaska Airlines don’t allow passengers to use these devices during critical stages. 

Hawaiian Airlines allows passengers to use their personal electronic devices (PEDs) on all their domestic flights and some of their international flights. 

You Can Use AirPods But Not During Critical Stages 

Other than the FAA, the other organization with a say on what can be used on planes is the IATA, which controls about 82% of air transit. However, they haven’t specified any regulation about using AirPods or Bluetooth on planes

They state that passengers should never use Bluetooth headphones during some of the most critical stages of their flight, particularly when landing or taking off.

They insist that all mobile phones must be in Airplane mode during take-off and landing.

On the other hand, the FAA has similar rules, but with a small twist; they claim that you can use your Bluetooth devices after the aircraft has reached a certain altitude of about 10,000 feet.

The TCCA (Transport Canada Civil Aviation) discouraged the usage of all Bluetooth devices on a plane. Fortunately, they say this restriction doesn’t apply to every Bluetooth device, but they haven’t stated which ones you can use. On the other hand, you’re not allowed to use any Bluetooth device on a plane.

Connecting Airpods To The Plane’s In-Flight Entertainment System

All aircraft have an in-flight entertainment system that passengers can use to pass the time; unfortunately, you can’t connect your Airpods to them directly. Plus, their speakers are awful; therefore, most folks prefer using their headphones instead of the built-in sound system of in-flight entertainment.

Most aircraft’s entertainment systems come with 3.5mm headphones, ideal for all wired headphones, but what about wireless devices? Well, most flight entertainment systems don’t come with Bluetooth IC; therefore, connecting the Airpods can be quite challenging. 

To connect your AirPods to the in-flight entertainment systems, you should do the following:

1. Using AirFly

Airfly is an exceptional gadget that helps convert wired-audio signals to Bluetooth signals. And the good thing about it is that it comes with a 3.5mm jack which you can use to connect to the aircraft’s entertainment system. It also comes with a Bluetooth receiver that you can use to link to your wireless devices.

To connect your Airpods to the aircraft’s entertainment system, you can simply click the AirFly option on the entertainment system and then with the AirPods. Currently, there are several Bluetooth transmitters offering these services, but AirFly works perfectly and can surprise you.

2. Aircraft WiFi

Currently, a huge percentage of the airlines provide WiFi at a cost or even free. Therefore, before connecting to the plane’s WiFi, you need to confirm if it’s free or not. When connected to the WiFi, you can listen to your favorite music using your AirPods.

Your laptop or smartphone will function as a bridge between your Airpods and the in-flight entertainment system. You can even watch a movie from the in-flight entertainment system. You can even log into the Airline’s app and use your AirPods to listen to your music. 

Outdoor Speak: What if you intend on listening to a speaker instead and not on your pair of Ipods? Would you feel cool or look like a fool? Tune in to our article here — Can You Bring A Speaker On A Plane.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there airlines that allow passengers to use PEDs during critical flight stages?

Yes, several local airlines, including Spirit Airlines, allow passengers to use their PEDs during all phases of their flight, including landing and take-offs. But most of them demand that the cell phone should be in airplane mode since it can affect the plane’s navigation.     

Can you use AirPods on a plane with no wifi?

Yes, there are several Bluetooth transmitters that you can use to connect to the plane’s entertainment systems. One of the most effective and popular gadgets is Airfly which comes with a 3.5mm jack that is compatible with the plane’s system.

What can I do if I leave my AirPods at the airport?

AirPods are small-sized gadgets, so you can easily forget them on a plane. With the airport being crowded, recovering your wireless headphones can be quite challenging. Fortunately, Apple has a unique tracking system that you can use to look for your AirPods.


The FAA has permitted passengers to listen to music using their Airpods during their flights. 

Unfortunately, some airlines don’t let their passengers use these Bluetooth gadgets during the critical phases of the flight for security issues, but you can use them when the plane reaches 10,000ft. 

And since your phone needs to be in “Airplane mode” during the flight, you can connect to their WiFi service to listen to your favorite music. 

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