Do United Airlines Provide Headphones? In-Flight Entertainment Explained

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United Airlines is known for offering various inflight entertainment options to its passengers. One frequently asked question is whether headphones are provided during the flights. As travelers look for ways to make their flight experience more enjoyable, understanding the availability of headphones and other amenities on United Airlines becomes essential.

The airline’s inflight entertainment system, United Private Screening, offers a wide range of content and allows passengers to use their own devices. In recent developments, United Airlines became the first airline in the United States to allow passengers to use their Bluetooth headphones onboard.

The availability of headphones on United Airlines Flights provided by the airlines may depend on the aircraft type and travel class.

Key Takeaways

  • United Airlines offers a comprehensive inflight entertainment system with various options for passengers.
  • Bluetooth headphone use is now allowed onboard United flights, making it easier for passengers to enjoy entertainment content.
  • The provision of headphones by the airline may vary depending on the aircraft type and travel class.
United Airlines Aircraft

United Airlines Inflight Entertainment

Private Screening

United Airlines offers United Private Screening for passengers to enjoy the latest Hollywood hits and trending TV shows. You can watch through a seatback monitor or your own personal device, depending on the aircraft.


On select flights, passengers can access DIRECTV with over 100 live TV channels and new movie releases. Make sure to check if your flight offers this inflight entertainment option.

Inflight Magazine

For those who prefer reading, United Airlines also provides an inflight magazine. However, due to the current pandemic situation, the inflight magazine availability might be limited.

Note: Complimentary earbuds are available on select flights. Passengers are allowed to bring their own headphones for use with inflight entertainment systems.

Find out – Is United a Good Airline?

Headphone Options

United First

In United First class, passengers are provided with high-quality headphones to enhance their in-flight experience. These headphones are typically from well-known brands like Bose. However, if you prefer, you can also use your own headphones during the flight.

The in-flight entertainment system includes United Private Screening, a free service, which can be accessed using the supplied headphones or your personal wireless headphones if the aircraft is equipped with Bluetooth capabilities.

Economy Class

In Economy class, United Airlines might not provide headphones for all passengers. It is recommended that you bring your own headphones to use during the flight. Make sure to carry wired headphones, as some older aircraft may not support Bluetooth connectivity.

Passengers can still enjoy the in-flight entertainment options available through United Private Screening. Your own wired or wireless headphones can be used on compatible aircraft to access the entertainment offerings.

Economy class passenger wearing headphones

Connectivity and Devices

Device Compatibility

United Airlines offers in-flight entertainment for passengers to enjoy. The airline has introduced Bluetooth support in their new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets for wireless headphones. Passengers with other devices, such as wired headphones, can still use them while onboard.

Remember to follow the safety rules while using electronic devices. Approved devices must be in airplane mode during flight and can only be used during the flight except at takeoff and landing.

Charging Options

It’s recommended to charge up your devices before boarding a United Airlines flight. Although some aircraft have charging options, not all planes provide power ports. Bringing a fully charged device or a portable battery pack is a smart choice for uninterrupted entertainment.

Aircraft Types Providing Headphones

Domestic Flights

United Airlines provides seatback entertainment systems on their flights, including domestic ones. You can enjoy movies, TV shows, games, and more on these systems 1. The latest addition to United Airlines’ fleet, the Boeing 737 Max 8, offers support for Bluetooth headphones2, making it more convenient for passengers.

International Flights

On international flights, passengers can expect the same inflight entertainment options as on domestic flights1. The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, part of the United Airlines fleet, also offers Bluetooth headphone support for in-flight entertainment2. This makes it easier for passengers to use their personal headphones to enjoy movies, games and other content during their international journeys.

Comparison with Other Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines provides headphones for purchase on most of its flights. Passengers can choose from a variety of options, including noise-canceling headphones.

American Airlines

On American Airlines flights, Bose headphones are available for use in Business and First Class. These high-quality headphones offer noise-canceling features and can be used during the flight.


JetBlue offers free headphones for all passengers on selected flights. These headphones can be used with the airline’s in-flight entertainment system, which offers movies, music, and other content.

Additional Inflight Services

Food and Beverage Options

United Airlines provides a range of dining options on their flights. Passengers can enjoy different meal choices, depending on the class and length of the flight. The airline also offers an assortment of snacks to complement your inflight experience.

Payment for inflight purchases is usually made through electronic methods. United Airlines advises saving a form of payment before boarding. This enables you to purchase snacks or drinks conveniently during your flight.

Seating Comfort

Tray tables are available on United Airlines flights, allowing you to enjoy your meals and beverages in comfort. Business class passengers, such as those flying in United First, can expect an enhanced seating experience. This includes wider seats, more legroom, and adjustable headrests.

When traveling through airports like LAX, passengers can take advantage of expedited airport programs. These services aim to streamline the boarding process and improve overall travel efficiency.


United Airlines has made efforts to improve the in-flight experience for passengers by enabling Bluetooth headphone connectivity in their new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets. This feature caters to the increasing number of passengers owning wireless headphones.

However, it’s important to note that the airline’s over 500 narrowbody aircrafts have not yet undergone retrofits to support this feature. As a result, passengers flying on these aircraft should still bring wired headphones.

The in-flight entertainment offered by United Airlines is free and known as United Private Screening. The available options depend on the type of plane a passenger is on. It’s advisable to plan ahead and check the specific aircraft details to know what to expect during the flight.

To fully enjoy United Airlines’ in-flight entertainment, passengers should ensure their devices are charged and equipped with the type of headphones suitable for their flight. This will ensure a more enjoyable and comfortable journey in the air.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does United offer free headphones on international flights?

Yes, United Airlines usually provides complimentary headphones for passengers on international flights. However, availability may vary depending on the specific flight and class of service.

What is the cost of headphones on United Airlines?

The cost of headphones on United Airlines varies, as they might provide free headphones on certain flights or class of service. To confirm the exact cost, it is recommended to check with the airline directly or inquire during your flight.

Can I use my own headphones on United flights?

Yes, you can use your own headphones on United flights. Just ensure they are compatible with the inflight entertainment system and follow all required safety guidelines.

Is Bluetooth headphone usage allowed on United flights?

Bluetooth headphone usage on United flights may be restricted during takeoff and landing. To avoid any issues, it’s best to use wired headphones or check with the flight crew for their specific recommendations.

What type of headphone jacks are available on United flights?

The type of headphone jacks available on United flights can vary depending on the aircraft and seat. Many planes use a standard 3.5mm jack; however, some may also have two-pronged headphone jacks. It’s a good idea to bring an adapter if you’re unsure.

Does every United seat have inflight entertainment?

While many United seats have access to inflight entertainment, the availability depends on the plane model and specific flight. It’s recommended to check with United Airlines or review your booking details to determine if your seat will have access to inflight entertainment.

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