Updated on May 15, 2024.
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Many people use wireless headphones that rely on a Bluetooth connection to pair with their devices, and that can be an issue when you are flying. This is because, at certain points of the flight, you’ll need to switch your devices to airplane mode, and you may worry that you’ll lose the connection. The good news is that you can use your Bluetooth headphones on a plane, but there are some exceptions. Let’s explore more.

Key Takeaways

  • Bluetooth headphones can be used safely on airplanes if they are switched to airplane mode during take-off and landing. This precaution eliminates the risk of interference with the aircraft’s systems.
  • Ensure that your entertainment content is downloaded locally on your device before the flight, as in-flight Wi-Fi may not be sufficient to stream content. Keeping Bluetooth headphones in airplane mode will allow you to enjoy uninterrupted music and movies throughout the journey.
  • Some newer aircraft may allow passengers to connect their Bluetooth headphones to the in-flight entertainment system once it becomes available. However, it’s crucial to wait for the pilot’s clearance before using electronic devices again.
  • During safety instructions, comply with cabin crew requests to remove your Bluetooth headphones so you can hear important announcements clearly. Failure to do so may lead to potential issues or even being asked to leave the flight.
  • While the Federal Aviation Administration generally permits Bluetooth headphone usage in airplane mode, some airlines might have their own restrictions. Always check the specific policies of the airline you are traveling with to avoid any surprises or inconveniences during your flight.

Bluetooth Headphones on Planes

Typically, you are safe to use Bluetooth headphones on planes as long as you switch them to airplane mode when you are instructed to do so. This turns off any wifi connection the headphones may have that could potentially interfere with the aircraft during take-off and landing.

Once the Bluetooth is off, you want to make sure they still connect to your device without the internet. If so, you’ll be able to listen to music and other entertainment uninterrupted, as long as it’s downloaded locally on your device. If it is not, you may be able to purchase in-flight wifi to get to your content if it is available. Your Bluetooth headphones should always remain in airplane mode during this time.

Depending on how old your aircraft is, you may also be able to connect them to the in-flight entertainment through your Bluetooth connection. This is only available once the pilot clears all devices to be turned on again, but it’s a great way to listen to movies and TV shows comfortably without needing to worry about the tiny earbuds the airline provides.

Keep in mind that you may be asked to remove your Bluetooth headphones during the safety instructions to ensure you can hear. If the cabin crew asks you to remove them, be sure to comply with their wishes. If not, you may be asked to leave the flight.

Are There Exceptions?

Can You Use Bluetooth Headphones on an Airplane

While the Federal Aviation Administration cleared Bluetooth headphones as safe for use during the flight when in airplane mode, some airlines have their own restrictions. For example, you may be asked to remove your headphones during landing and take off if you’re traveling on American Airlines, though this can vary from flight to flight.

Be sure to check their policies prior to traveling to ensure you know what to expect. Some cabin crew members may be more strict than others, but it’s always best to be prepared. While Bluetooth headphones are more common now, the policies may not have been updated yet to keep up with the trends.


Bluetooth headphones are safe to use during your flight as long as they are in airplane mode. They should still connect with your device without a network connection. Additionally, many new planes will allow you to connect your Bluetooth headphones to the in-flight entertainment once it is available.

By using your own devices, you’ll be able to listen more comfortably as you cruise to your final destination – just make sure they are fully charged or you bring your charging cable with you just in case!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use my Bluetooth headphones throughout the entire flight, or are there specific times when I need to switch to airplane mode?

You can use your Bluetooth headphones throughout the flight, but you must switch them to airplane mode during take-off and landing. This is a safety requirement to prevent potential interference with the aircraft’s systems.

  • I have noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. Can I use the noise-canceling feature during the flight, or is it better to turn it off?

It’s recommended to turn off the noise-canceling feature on your Bluetooth headphones during the flight, especially during take-off and landing. This allows you to hear important announcements from the cabin crew and stay aware of your surroundings.

  • Will my Bluetooth headphones automatically reconnect to my device after the flight when I turn off airplane mode?

Yes, once you turn off airplane mode after the flight, your Bluetooth headphones should automatically reconnect to your device if they were previously paired. If they don’t reconnect automatically, you can manually initiate the pairing process again.

  • Are there any specific Bluetooth headphone models that are not allowed on airplanes due to their potential to interfere with aircraft systems?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of most Bluetooth headphones in airplane mode, as they should not cause interference with aircraft systems. However, it’s always best to check with the airline or FAA if you have concerns about a specific headphone model.

  • What do I do if I encounter a cabin crew member who is not aware of the FAA’s approval of Bluetooth headphone usage on planes and asks me to turn them off or remove them?

If you encounter a situation where a cabin crew member asks you to turn off or remove your Bluetooth headphones despite being in airplane mode, remain polite and explain that your headphones are in compliance with FAA regulations. If the issue persists, it’s best to comply with their request to avoid any potential conflicts and address the matter with the airline’s customer service after the flight if necessary.