Can you use Bluetooth on a plane? Specific Airline Policies

If you’ve ever questioned whether it’s permissible to employ Bluetooth during a flight, you’re not alone. Although Airplane mode is a standard requirement for mobile devices, you can still use Bluetooth technology while aboard an aircraft.

As Bluetooth is a low-power wireless technology, it cannot interfere with navigation systems or aircraft communication. Nevertheless, you must have to adhere to guidelines and regulations to utilize Bluetooth safely and within the confines of the law.

If you’re interested in learning more information about using Bluetooth on a plane and valuable tips for a smooth wireless experience, let’s take off!

Can You Use Bluetooth On a Plane?

YES! You can use Bluetooth while aboard an airplane. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Bluetooth headphones and other wireless devices are allowed throughout the entire flight (in airplane mode only). However, airlines can make slight modifications to this policy.

Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds

For example, passengers traveling with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are allowed to use Bluetooth devices (such as headphones or keyboards), once the airplane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. This policy is in place to ensure that Bluetooth usage does not interfere with the aircraft’s operations during critical phases of the flight. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to Air Canada and Air France, Bluetooth devices are allowed under specific conditions. It is permitted only on flights that offer Wi-Fi connectivity. On older airplane models without Wi-Fi, the use of Bluetooth devices is not allowed.

Nevertheless, certain airlines impose limitations on electronic device usage, including Bluetooth headphones during specific stages of the flight. For example, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines require the use of wired headphones during takeoff and landing. In contrast, Delta Airlines and United Airlines allow wireless devices in airplane mode.

This distinction is implemented to maintain safety standards and prevent potential interference on flights equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi services. 

Generally, Middle Eastern airlines, like Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad impose no restrictions on the use of Bluetooth devices in flight, at any point.

Below, we’ve put together an in-depth guide covering various airlines and their Bluetooth usage policies. Feel free to scroll down and review them!

You can use Bluetooth devices throughout the entire flight on these airlines.

Bluetooth is allowed on planes, except during takeoff, landing, or with seatbelt sign-on. These airlines follow this rule:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Transat
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • EasyJet
  • Emirates
  • JetBlue
  • Jetstar
  • KLM
  • Norwegian Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Ryanair
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • WestJet

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Does the Size of Bluetooth Devices Matter on Airplanes?

Yes, the size of Bluetooth devices indeed plays a crucial role. Smaller Bluetooth gadgets like cell phones, AirPods, and wireless earbuds are generally permitted for use throughout the entire flight due to minimal risks. 

In contrast, larger Bluetooth devices such as laptops, tablets, and wireless keyboards can potentially become airborne objects during turbulence. This is why airline personnel typically request passengers to stow them away when the seatbelt sign is illuminated.

Bluetooth Speaker
Bluetooth Speaker

While Bluetooth headphones might theoretically be safe to use during takeoff and landing, they can potentially hinder passengers from hearing important announcements. Therefore, many airlines advise passengers to remove them during the critical phases of the flight.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Bluetooth Device On a Plane

Now that you have a solid understanding of Bluetooth usage on a plane, let’s shift our focus to the practical aspect of using it. Here, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on how to connect your Bluetooth devices to the in-flight entertainment system:

  1. Make sure your wireless headphones have Bluetooth activated.
  2. Enter pairing mode on your headphones usually achieved by holding down the power button for a few seconds until the LED light starts flashing.
  3. Access the in-flight entertainment system and locate the Bluetooth settings. Search for discoverable devices and choose your headphones from the available options. 
  4. The system may require you to input a pairing code, typically found in the user manual provided with your headphones.
  5. Ensure the sound quality and volume are satisfactory after successfully connecting the headphones to confirm their proper functionality.

Tips to Make Best Use of Bluetooth on a Plane

The use of wireless Bluetooth headphones on airplanes has gained popularity among travelers seeking to enjoy their favorite music or podcasts. Nonetheless, there are certain steps to take for a smoother experience. Let’s explore them here:

Review Airline Policy

Make sure to review your airline’s policies before your flight, specifically regarding electronic devices like Bluetooth headphones. Many airline websites provide information on whether wireless headphones are permitted and any associated restrictions.

Acquire Adapter

Using wireless Bluetooth headphones on a plane requires an adapter to connect them to the two-pronged headphone jack. The Twelve South AirFly adapter is a dependable choice designed specifically for wireless headphones.

Twelve South AirFly adapter
Twelve South AirFly adapter

It offers ease of use with an extended battery life. Moreover, it includes a built-in microphone for taking calls. This makes it an excellent travel companion, which ensures a smooth music or movie experience during your flight.

Respect Others

Exercising courtesy and respect for other passengers is essential because you’re not the only traveler on the aircraft. Therefore, using noise-canceling headphones and keeping the volume down is a thoughtful way to be considerate of those around you.

Additionally, when using headphones, it’s important to avoid engaging in loud conversations to maintain a pleasant atmosphere for all passengers.

Things to Avoid While Using Bluetooth on a Plane

There are some common mistakes that people make whenever they use bluetooth devices like headphones on a plane. To get a flawless experience, we have prepared a small guide for you. So, when you travel, make sure to follow these tips:

Engaging in Lengthy Video Calls

Video calls over Bluetooth during a flight can be disruptive and annoying to fellow passengers due to the constant talking and potential for loud conversations. Limit video calls or use text-based communication when possible.

Bringing Incompatible Headphones

Steer clear of using headphones that don’t match the in-flight entertainment system. To enjoy movies or music on the seatback screen with your headphones, ensure they feature a 3.5mm audio jack compatible with the plane’s socket.

Headphones on Plane
Headphones on Plane

Note that certain wireless headphones might not function with the in-flight system, as they rely on Bluetooth connections that aren’t commonly available on most planes.

Wearing Headphones During Important Announcements

It’s advisable not to wear headphones during passenger safety drills. It’s crucial to attentively follow the safety instructions provided by the crew before the flight, as they could contain vital details about emergency procedures and onboard equipment.

To ensure you don’t miss out on any critical information, it’s important to take off your headphones and listen carefully to the announcements and demonstrations.

Read Next: When is The Best Time to Book For The Cheapest Airline Tickets?

Conclusion

Bluetooth technology can generally be used on airplanes, but it’s essential to adhere to airline-specific policies and regulations. Most airlines permit the use of Bluetooth devices, such as headphones and keyboards, during the flight, but there may be restrictions during takeoff, landing, or specific conditions like Wi-Fi availability.

Passengers should also be considerate of others, keep volumes reasonable, and follow safety instructions. Ensuring compatibility with the in-flight entertainment system and staying informed about airline policies will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable Bluetooth experience while flying.

Related: Can you Take Condoms On a Plane? (TSA Guide)

Can You Use Bluetooth on a Plane? - FAQs

Can I use Bluetooth on any airline, or do the rules vary from carrier to carrier?

The rules regarding Bluetooth usage on airplanes may vary from one airline to another. Every airline allows it, but some restrict it during the initial and final stages of the flight.

Are there any specific Bluetooth headphone models or brands that are recommended for in-flight use?

There isn’t a specific Bluetooth headphone model or brand recommended for in-flight use. However, noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are generally a popular choice for their ability to reduce cabin noise, providing a more pleasant listening experience.

Do airlines have restrictions on using Bluetooth-enabled smartwatches or fitness trackers during the flight?

While Bluetooth-enabled smartwatches and fitness trackers are generally allowed, it’s essential to ensure these devices are in airplane mode and not transmitting data via Bluetooth connections during critical flight phases, as instructed by the airline.

 

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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