Can I use wireless Bluetooth headphones on an airplane?

How do you feel when you are going on a long trip on an airplane and get to know the in-flight entertainment is having problems? Of course, you might feel “oh it’s going to be a boring flight.” For many people, sleeping can be a good way to make time fly by on an airplane but what if you can’t get a long sleep? If you are someone like me, you will try combating boredom by listing to your favorite music tracks, watching videos, or playing games using your smartphone and wireless headphones.

With technology making sure life gets more convenient for us, wireless Bluetooth headphones are becoming popular, and this might be what you use. But theoretically, Bluetooth might not be compatible with planes. With this in mind, many people keep asking questions like “can I use wireless Bluetooth headphones on an airplane?” Read on as I show you if you can use wireless earbuds to pass time and have fun on a plane or not.

Are There Rules Guiding Against the Use of Bluetooth Headphones? 

As of 2017, a new electronic ban has been put in place. This ban does not allow the use of larger Bluetooth headphones and some other things. Globally, the official rule is that air travelers cannot use devices that use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and larger than smartphones. Also, any device you will use should be able to operate on flight mode.    

However, the effectiveness of the ban depends on the airline you use and your destination. Even though most airlines allow the use of wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the ban is technically effective in all UK airlines. However, you need to know that there can be some exceptions to airlines that say you can use wireless earbuds with mic. You need to switch off the Bluetooth during Taxi, takeoff, and landing.

Bluetooth Headphones

On the Federal Aviation Administration Website, it is stated that you can use Bluetooth devices on airplanes but needs to ensure the cellular connection is disabled or the device is on flight mode. If the plane has a Wi-fi connection installed, you can connect to it, but you need to confirm if the airline allows it. You might be thinking, “but I can’t put my waterproof wireless earbuds on flight mode.” Short-range Bluetooth devices such as wireless keyboards are allowed. This means you can also make use of your best Bluetooth earbuds. 

Why Is The Use Of Bluetooth Headphones On Airplanes Controversial?

Bluetooth wireless technology and transmitting portable electronic devices make use of Wi-Fi, short radio transmitters, or high frequency to receive and send data. All these are thought to cause instrument display malfunction and also interfere with communication and navigation systems. Because passengers carry devices with various power levels, it is difficult to officially say the exact effect of the devices after several studies to assess the use of devices while in an airplane.

However, to be on the side of safety, the FFA ban use of cell phones without putting it on flight mode and also the use of some wireless devices including the wireless Bluetooth earbuds.  But are there exceptions to this ban? Do all airlines adhere to the FFA rules about the use of Bluetooth earbuds?

What Different Airlines Think About the Use of Bluetooth Earbuds

Even though there is a global official rule banning some electronics during flight, different airlines have their own rules that support or disallow the use of Bluetooth earbuds in an airplane. Below is where the popular airlines land on the use of wireless headphones.  

  • JetBlue Airline – passengers traveling by the JetBlue Airline are allowed to use wireless accessories such as Bluetooth keyboards and wireless Bluetooth earbuds. However, you have to ensure your cellular service is not active. 
  • Delta Air Lines – this is one of the popular America airlines that give their traveler the opportunity to watch their favorite movie and listen to their favorite music tracks using wireless in-ear headphones. But passengers are not allowed to use their Bluetooth or wireless device without putting it on flight mode. 
  • Southwest Airlines – Another popular America airline that offers their passenger the free hand to make use of their wireless earbud so they can keep themselves entertained and have fun while enjoying the flight. However, the global rule of putting a Bluetooth device on flight mode is still applicable. 
  • Air Canada – This popular airline in Canada allows their passenger to make use of Bluetooth headphones, but there are some exceptions. You can only use the wireless earbuds when the plane reaches at least 10,000 feet. Also, the battery of your wireless Bluetooth earbud should be removable. Additionally, you are allowed to use your Bluetooth device aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi. This means Air Canada is limiting the use of Bluetooth headphones to Wi-Fi-enabled 
  • Porter ­– on the other hand, this Canadian airline does not offer Wi-Fi services, so they don’t have any specific guidance for the use of wireless Bluetooth earbuds. However, since you can turn your Bluetooth on while your phone is on flight mode, you are allowed to use your wireless headphone and have fun during your trip. 
  • WestJet – this airline allows the use of Bluetooth earbuds while traveling in any of their fleets, whether the one that provides Wi-Fi service or not. 
  • Lufthansa – Unlike all other airlines mentioned so far, this airline gives their travelers to make use of their wireless Bluetooth headphone during the entire flight. It means you can use the wireless earbud to listen to your favorite songs during takeoff while flying and while the plane is landing. 
  • British Airways – the airline, gives passengers the opportunity to use wireless headphones while flying. 
  • easyJet – another British airline that supports to use of Bluetooth earbuds by their passengers. However, the airline wants their travelers to ensure all their cell phones are in flight mode throughout the flight period.  

Even though most of these popular airlines allow the use of wireless headphones, there is a general rule that they all want their passengers to adhere to. You must put your Bluetooth device on flight mode. You should not use your Bluetooth earbud during taxiing, takeoff or landing.

Lest I forget, you should know that where some airlines traveling from some Africa and Middle East countries to US lands about the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones are different. For Example Emirates and Qatar Airlines don’t permit wireless earbuds for passengers traveling to the US. Also, Turkish Airline includes the use of headphones in their list of banned items.

You should know that some of the airlines that prohibit the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones do so because they don’t want their passengers to be distracted in a potentially dangerous situation. In fact, a noise-canceling headphone is a no-no to some airlines.  

Airport Security and Wireless Headphones

One of the common worries of people who love to listen to their favorite music while traveling is whether airport security will seize the best Bluetooth earbud they have invested in or not. The truth is so far your airline allows it you have nothing to worry about. From many reviews of travelers found online and my personal experience as a frequent traveler, I can tell you that airport security won’t kill your vibes by seizing your wireless Bluetooth headphones.  

Using Bluetooth Earbuds and Devices in Aircraft     

If you are fortunate that the airline you are traveling in allows the use of Bluetooth device such as the wireless earbuds, don’t forget the fact that the use of cellular data is prohibited. Any device you are going to connect your wireless Bluetooth headphone to must be on airplane mode. However, in a situation where the type of device you are using does not allow you to connect your wireless earbuds through Bluetooth after switching the flight mode on, you can turn off the cellular service manually.

Also, if the airplane you are traveling in has an entertainment system, you will not be able to connect to it using your Bluetooth earbuds. If you are traveling with most of the airlines that gives passengers the chance to use wireless Bluetooth earbuds, have you considered the battery life of the headphone? Can it last through the hours of your travel and keep you entertained? The battery life shorter than three hours of use can be an issue if you are going on a long journey. That is why I will recommend Xfyro earbuds; one of the best waterproof wireless earbuds on the market. It comes with 30hours of battery life with a charging case that can keep your company throughout your trip.

Wireless Earbuds

How to Use Wireless Earbuds with In-Flight Entertainment

No doubt, preference varies from person to person. Some people love to listen to music or watch a movie on their smartphone while there are some who will love the in-flight movies. If you are someone who is bored with your phone and want to make use of the in-flight entertainment, you can be disappointed to find out that the airplane has a two-pin socket. With this, you can’t make use of your Bluetooth headphone to listen to the in-flight entertainment properly no matter what you do.

However, there is a way to go about it. No! You don’t need to purchase a wired version of your headphone. There are Bluetooth transmitter-receiver adapters that allow you to pair with your wireless Bluetooth earbuds and enjoy a high-fidelity stereo sound. They have batteries that ensure your Bluetooth headphone keeps connected throughout the trip. If you don’t have these adapters using your wireless earphone for in-flight movie viewing can be frustrating. 

Watch Out For Future Changes in the Use of Wireless Headphones in Flight

Have it in mind that anything can happen anytime so you won’t be disappointed. As technology changes the policies of airline about the use of electronics in aircraft can change over time. Change is constant, and the use of wireless Bluetooth earbuds are capable of being affected by rules at any time, just like all airline policies. However, while the rule last, you can have fun and enjoy yourself while you embark on that long hauling journey. 

Last Words

With the information provided about the use of wireless earbuds in flight, I believe you now have an answer to your question “can I use wireless Bluetooth headphones on an airplane?”. To clear the air, yes you can use Bluetooth earbuds on an airplane. However, you need to check what the airlines you are traveling with allow.

Will they allow you to take your headphone with you? If yes, are there any exceptions? Knowing all these can save you from embarrassment and disappointment. To find out about the airline regulations, you can go to their online web page or put a call through to their office for clearer information about the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones.