Can You Use Wireless Bluetooth Headphones on Planes?

Normally, yes. 

You can use Bluetooth headphones on a plane. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows passengers to use short-range Bluetooth devices on planes. 

But, rules may change depending on the airline, so always know your flight’s regulations before you switch Bluetooth on. 

Are Bluetooth Headphones Allowed on Planes?

On most flights, staff will have no problem with you using Bluetooth headphones and other Bluetooth electronics. 

This information may come as a surprise since most people know you have to put your phone into airplane mode because a cellular connection can interfere with devices on the plane. 

And, yes, using a mobile phone’s cellular service can disrupt navigation equipment inside the plane, which is why you have to use airplane mode.

Yet, the sound signal from Bluetooth headphones does not affect anything on the plane. 

Thus, most airlines allow wireless Bluetooth headphones as well as Bluetooth keyboards. 

However, beware of different rules depending on the airline you use. 

While all airlines require that you put your phone into airplane mode, rules on Bluetooth devices can vary widely. 

Bluetooth Rules at Different Airlines 

Below are the general rules for Bluetooth headphones and other Bluetooth connectivity at popular airlines. 

But, just remember that the cabin crew or pilot can always change the rules if needed. 

So, always pay attention and follow the rules if flight attendants ask you to turn off your Bluetooth headphones. 

United Airlines 

United’s rules on Bluetooth headphones and other Bluetooth devices, like wireless keyboards, differ based on the type of flight. 

Inside the US and US territories, passengers can use Bluetooth headphones and noise-canceling headphones at any time. 

However, on international flights, you can only use wireless headphones once the plane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. 

Air Canada

Air Canada allows Bluetooth headphones once the plane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. 

Also, you must be able to remove the battery from your device, or you can’t use it. 

But unfortunately, you can’t connect to the in-flight entertainment system with Bluetooth headphones. 

British Airways

On British Airways, you can not use Bluetooth headphones during take-off and landing, but you can use them throughout the rest of the flight. 

Southwest Airlines 

You can use wireless headphones on Southwest once the plane is in the air. 

Also, you can connect wireless headphones to the plane’s entertainment systems if your flight has Wi-Fi. 

American Airlines 

American does not allow Bluetooth during take-off and landing, but you can use these devices during the rest of the flight. 

Alaska Airlines 

You can use Bluetooth on Alaska flights unless the country you are entering does not allow Bluetooth connection during take-off or landing. 

Delta Air Lines 

On Delta, like most other air carriers, you can use Bluetooth once the plane is in the air. 

And, some flights have entertainment systems with Bluetooth compatibility. 

Will Airport Security Have a Problem With My Bluetooth Headphones?

Since the FAA allows Bluetooth connections on the plane, security should have no problem with any devices equipped with Bluetooth technology. 

Also, you can have these headphones in both your carry-on bag and checked luggage. 

Plus, small electronic devices can stay in your carry-on when you go through the security checkpoint. 

Thus, items like a wireless mouse or noise-canceling earbuds can usually remain in your bag. 

But, you have to remove electrical devices larger than the average cell phone so that the TSA can easily see the other items in your bag. 

What Does Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Say About Bluetooth?

Overall, the TCCA says that passengers shouldn’t use any portable electronic device that uses signals like cellular data onboard an aircraft. 

But, TCCA has not released specific rules about Bluetooth. 

Therefore, the final decision is up to the airline. 

What Does the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Say About Bluetooth?

IATA allows the use of Bluetooth devices once the plane is in the air. 

Thus, you can not use them during take-off or landing. 

Can I Connect to Bluetooth in Airplane Mode?

Yes, and you must always have your phone or any other device set to flight mode unless a crew member says that you can turn it off. 

To use wireless devices on iOS devices (Apple devices) in flight mode, you just need to: 

  • Open “Settings”
  • Go to Bluetooth and turn it on
  • Connect your devices

To use Bluetooth on Android products, you need to:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Go to “Connected Devices”
  • Tap “Connection Preferences”
  • Click “Bluetooth” and connect your desired device

However, just remember that some older phones can not connect to Bluetooth in flight mode. 

Do I Need Wi-Fi Connection to Use Bluetooth?

No, Bluetooth electronics and short-range Bluetooth accessories use radio waves to connect to each other. 

Thus, Bluetooth headphones work without Wi-Fi. 

But planes with an installed Wi-Fi system make it much easier to use your own devices such as mobile phones. 

Can I Use Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Plane?

Yes, as long as your airline allows you to use Bluetooth, noise-canceling headphones are no different than other Bluetooth headsets. 

Can I Use Wired Headphones on a Plane?

Yes, on most flights, you can use wired headphones throughout the entire flight. 

Many flights even offer these headphones for a small price so that you can use them with their in-flight entertainment system. 

But, if you want to use your own headphones for the plane’s entertainment system, you’ll most likely need an airline headphone adapter. 

The reason is that most planes still use a two-pronged audio jack, so you need a converter to use standard headset cables on the aircraft. 

Can I Charge Bluetooth Headphones on a Flight?

Whether you can charge portable devices on a plane depends on what your airline offers. 

On most planes, there are either outlets or USB ports for each passenger in first-class. 

However, in Basic Economy, outlets and ports are usually spread throughout the cabin, so you may not get a seat near one. 

Thus, it’s best to charge your devices before you get on the plane. 

The Cabin Crew and Pilot Have the Final Say

As stated above, the crew onboard the plane have the final say as to whether they believe it is safe to use Bluetooth. 

So, always listen to the flight attendant on duty to see if they have any announcements. 


Usually, you can use Bluetooth on a plane for your devices and the in-flight entertainment systems if there is a Bluetooth option. 

However, you must pay attention to the rules that the aircrew and airline give you regarding short-term Bluetooth devices and portable electronic devices in general.