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Can you use AirPods on a plane?

And more importantly, will airlines let you use AirPods on the plane.

apple airpods in hand
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: Yes, AirPods work on planes and you can even use them during your flight. Airlines treat them no differently than wireless headphones. However, you should be aware of a few limitations.

True wireless earbuds like Apple AirPods are great for work, home, and working out. But what about travel? More specifically, do they work on a plane?

At first thought, it seems obvious. But sometimes, things aren’t as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ While AirPods might technically work on an airplane, rules can change.

For example, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) rules over device use on aircraft. So what’s the deal with using your AirPods and AirPods Pro on a plane?

So, will AirPods work on a plane?

Short answer: Yes

Yes, your AirPods will work on a plane, and yes, you can use them in the air. And, of course, you can use AirPods on in-flight TVs. Airlines treat them no differently than wireless headphones.

This functionality comes right out of the box available across all models includeing the second generation airpods, all the way to Apple AirPods Max.

airplane mode on smartphone
Image: KnowTechie

However, you’ll have to enable your phone’s Airplane Mode to disable cellular radio. Then, turn Bluetooth back on. Thankfully, that’ll keep you inside the FAA’s rules.

READ MORE: AirFly connects your wireless headphones to in-flight entertainment systems

If your flight has onboard WiFi, you can connect that too. That’s all because, in 2013, the FAA relaxed its regulations on in-flight device use:

If your air carrier provides WiFi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.

Can you use AirPods for phone calls on an airplane?

2nd generation apple airpods on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Sadly, no. The only thing you can’t do is make voice calls, even over WiFi, thanks to FCC regulations prohibiting airborne calls from using cell phones.

Do Apple AirPods 2nd generation work with in-flight entertainment?

airfly main
Image: Twelve South

Ah, in-flight entertainment. The best way to snooze through red-eye transatlantic flights. But there’s a problem.

Airlines don’t often give out headphones for free anymore. That’s okay; most of us have earbuds in our pockets, but do your AirPods work on a plane to watch movies?

The answer is yes, but you’ll need an adapter to connect things. We like Twelve South’s AirFly range, which works with in-flight entertainment systems or the TVs at your local gym.

If you don’t have a Bluetooth adapter, thankfully you can use AirPods or any other Bluetooth device for more than just watching movies on a plane. For instance, you can listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks via your laptop or smartphone.

Using AirPods on a plane without Wi-Fi

No worries if you don’t have a Bluetooth adapter! Thankfully, you can still use AirPods or other Bluetooth devices for more than just watching movies on a plane.

bluetooth symbol on phone
Image: Unsplash

For instance, jam out to music, catch up on podcasts, or get lost in audiobooks via your laptop or smartphone, all without Wi-Fi.

AirPods connect to your device using Bluetooth, so you don’t need an internet connection. Just remember to set your device to airplane mode and enable Bluetooth while you’re in the sky.

Can you use AirPods on a plane?

Yup, AirPods work basically anywhere.

So the next time you fly, remember to use your Apple AirPods in the air, at the terminal, or anywhere gate-to-gate as long as your phone is in Airplane Mode.

Key PointDescription
Bluetooth ConnectivityAirPods use Bluetooth technology to connect with devices, which doesn’t require Wi-Fi or data
Airplane Mode CompatibilityEven when a device is in airplane mode, Bluetooth can still be enabled, allowing AirPods to function
In-flight EntertainmentSome airlines, like Delta, are rolling out Bluetooth connectivity for their in-flight entertainment systems, making it possible to use AirPods for this purpose
Airline PoliciesThe use of Bluetooth devices like AirPods is subject to the airline’s regulations. It’s always a good idea to check with the airline before the flight
Battery LifeAirPods have a good battery lifespan, making them suitable for long flights. The charging case provides multiple charges for even longer usage
Noise Cancellation (AirPods Pro)AirPods Pro feature active noise cancellation, which can be useful on noisy flights

And there you have it, folks, your comprehensive guide to using AirPods on a plane, all neatly packed in the table above.

It’s clear that whether you’re cruising at 30,000 feet with no Wi-Fi in sight or just want to tune out the world around you, AirPods have got your ears covered.

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Can I use AirPods on Delta flights?

Absolutely, you can! Not wanting to be left in the technological dust, Delta Air Lines has hopped on the Bluetooth bandwagon and equipped their inflight entertainment systems with wireless connectivity. So yes, your beloved AirPods can now be your flight companion.

Do AirPods stop your ears from popping on a plane?

Sure, but don’t expect miracles from your AirPods. They’re great for drowning out the drone of the plane engine or that chatty passenger next to you, but they’re not going to stop your ears from popping. That’s because the popping sensation is due to changes in air pressure, not whether or not you’re jamming out to your favorite tunes.

Can you use AirPods on a lane without Wi-Fi?

Your AirPods don’t need Wi-Fi to work. They’re like your loyal Golden Retriever, always ready to play fetch, whether you’re at home, in a park, or 35,000 feet up in the air.

Where do you use your AirPods? Carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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