Do AirPods Work on a Plane? The Dos and Don’ts

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If you’re looking forward to zoning out with your AirPods on your upcoming intercontinental flight, we have good news.

Apple AirPods work on a plane, but, more importantly, you’re allowed to use them.

Want to know more?

In this short article, we’ll explain the rules and workarounds you need to know to enjoy AirPod audio at 10,000 feet!

Do AirPods work on a plane?

Yes. AirPods and other wireless headphones will work on a plane because they are Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth is a wireless networking technology that creates Personal Area Networks (PAN).

AirPods on a Plane
Use AirPods on a Plane

PANs are designed for the exchange of data over very short distances, for example, between your media device or laptop and your AirPorts. 

Bluetooth has been permitted on planes since 2013 when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared it safe for use on flights.

It simply is not powerful enough to interfere with the function of the plane and Bluetooth limits the exchange of data to the paired devices.

This means that your AirPods are officially good to go!

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LAICOMEIN V5.0 2-in-1

Editor’s choice

Twelve South AirFly Pro

Best value

MEE audio Connect Air

Can I take my AirPods in my hand luggage?

Yes. You can carry AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones and electronics in your checked and carry-on luggage without problems.

They can be scanned just like any other luggage.

Just remember to take them off and put them inside your bag as airport security is likely to ask you to remove them.

You should also switch off the Bluetooth connectivity while they are being scanned.

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Important rules for using AirPods on a plane

There are some ground rules that are important for using your Bluetooth mid-flight.

If you usually stream your music, videos, or podcasts via your mobile data, you’ll find that your in-flight entertainment is grounded.

You cannot activate a cellular communication device on a flight, so you have to make sure that you download your films, playlists, and podcasts ahead of your flight. 

Some airlines like JetBlue offer free in-flight Wi-Fi and Amazon Prime which you can use to stream all the entertainment you want.

Simply connect to the airplane’s network, pop in your AirPods, and enjoy as you would normally. 

Using electronic devices on flights 

Airlines are generally reasonable about the use of electronics on flights so you should be able to use your AirPods with other electronics you have brought on board.

Flying with AirPods tips
Electronic devices on flights

Airlines also permit Bluetooth accessories like wireless keyboards for in-flight use.

Here are some of the electronic devices you can use with your AirPods:

  • Handheld devices: phones, tablets, and e-readers can be used with you if you set them to ‘airplane’ mode during taxi, take-off, and landing. You can switch on Bluetooth while keeping these devices in ‘flight-safe’ mode.
  • Laptops and notebooks: you’re free to use these during the flight, but you’ll usually be asked to stow them during taxi, take-off, and landing. Ensure that they are in ‘airplane mode’ also.
  • DVD players and game consoles: You can also use these devices as long as they are not transmitting or receiving communications. 

Remember – Your devices shouldn’t create an obstruction in the aisles and should be stowed or secured during take-off and landing. 

Using AirPods with in-flight entertainment

Not feeling, the snazzy complimentary headphones to listen to in-flight entertainment?

Well, worry not, because there is a solution for enjoying the latest films and shows using your AirPods.

Obviously, AirPods cannot connect via the audio jack and there is no Bluetooth connectivity provided by your airline.

But there is a workaround that is well worth having to hand if you’re a frequent flier.

What is a Bluetooth headphone adapter?

Bluetooth headphone adapters are simple devices that connect to an audio jack and relay the audio via the jack as a Bluetooth signal that wireless headphones can use.

They are the perfect partner to AirPods when you’re flying.

If you’re traveling at 10,000 feet this dongle-like device is a quick and cheap solution for enjoying in-flight entertainment with your AirPods.

In fact, they’ll work just great with any type of Bluetooth headphones.

Here are three of the best Bluetooth headphone adapters to pack in your hand luggage.

1. LAICOMEIN V5.0 2-in-1

Bluetooth Adapter & Wireless Transmitter

You can pair 2 devices simultaneously

  • High fidelity stereo
  • Fast charging
  • Easy to use

Quick specs

  • Cables / Connectors: 1x USB-C (charging), 1x 3.5mm audio, 1x 3.5mm/male RCA, 1x 3.5mm male to male
  • Ports: 1x AUX port 
  • Battery: 180mAh Battery
  • Dimensions: 6.73 in x 4.41 in x 0.71 in (17.09 cm x 11.2 cm x 1.8 cm)
  • Weight: 3.52 ounces (99.7 grams)


This is a compact Bluetooth transmitter/receiver can be used on a variety of audio jacks using the cables and connectors provided. It is compatible with Airplane jacks.

Simply plug in the adapter and switch it to transmit to enjoy an audio feed that goes straight to your AirPods.

With the latest version of Bluetooth on board, the provides smooth and stable connectivity. It has 10 hours of battery life, but can be directly powered via its USB-C connector and cable.

After your flight is done, feel free to use this handy device with smartphones, computers, and any non-Bluetooth devices you want to use.

2. Twelve South AirFly Pro  

Wireless Transmitter/Receiver

The AirFly Pro is 100% compatible with AirPods

  • 16 hours of transmission
  • Easy to use
  • 10m/33ft reach

Quick specs

  • Cables / Connectors: 1x USB-C (charging), 1x 3.5mm audio
  • Ports: 1x USB-C port 
  • Battery: 1x Lithium polymer 
  • Dimensions: 1.75 in x 1.25 in x 0.38 in (4.45 cm x 3.17 cm x 0.96 cm)
  • Weight: 0.564 ounces (15.9 grams)


This small but effective adapter can make any 3.5mm audio jack cordless.

This is not only a great gadget for your in-flight entertainment but also for the car, gym, or gaming. The AirFly Pro is 100% compatible with AirPods, using the latest low-latency Bluetooth 5.0 technology. 

Pair your AirPods quickly and easily. Pairing must be done with the AirPods inside their case.

When fully charged, this adapter gives up to 16 hours of transmission. You can also use it connected to a USB charging cable. 

3. MEE audio Connect Air in-Flight

Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter Adapter

Works well with all 3.5mm aux jacks

  • Around 20 hours of audio transmission
  • Lag free audio
  • Elegant & compact design

Quick specs

  • Cables / Connectors: 1x USB-C (charging), 1x 3.5mm male audio plug
  • Ports: 1x USB-C port 
  • Battery: 1x in-built Li-ion
  • Dimensions: 1.5 in x 0.6 in x 1.8 in (3.8 cm x 1.5 cm x 4.5 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces (17 grams)


This is a great value Bluetooth headphone adapter as it can stream audio to two sets of AirPods at the same time.

This solution is perfect for your in-flight entertainment if you’re sitting with friends or family. The in-built battery provides up to 20 hours of audio transmission for one set of AirPods and 15 hours for a pair. 

In conclusion

As you can see, AirPods and airplanes go together. As long as you don’t use your AirPods during taxi, take-off, or landing you’re free to use them.

Just remember to pack one of these clever Bluetooth headphone adapters in your hand luggage to enjoy your in-flight entertainment with your pods. 

I recently flew to Carlsbad in California on an 11-hour flight and forgot to take my Adapter and it wasn’t fun trying to use the free in-flight headphones.

Lesson Learned !

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