Do AirPods Work On A Plane? (And Wireless in-flight entertainment?)

If you travel by air often, you have probably developed a routine for biding your time. If not, you may not be as familiar with things you can do during a flight. Listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks is a great start. However, how can you do this? You might consider bringing your Apple Airpods along. Do AirPods work on a plane?

AirPods do work on a plane. If you have AirPods, they make for much more convenient audio listening when compared to wired headphones which can be a hassle during a flight. It is easy to connect your AirPods to your device.

Continue reading to learn more about whether AirPods work on a plane. You will also read information regarding tips on how to connect your AirPods to a device as well as supplemental devices to aid during your flight.

Do AirPods Work On A Plane?

AirPods work just as well on a plane as they do on the ground. If you have AirPods, the process of connecting your earbuds to a device to listen to audio on a plane is nearly identical to that of doing so on the ground.

However, you must make sure to abide by the rules of being a passenger on a plane. If you do not, you can disrupt the flight process, making your trip an inconvenience not only for yourself but also for everyone on the aircraft. Turning your devices to Airplane Mode is essential.

If you fear that your AirPods will not work on a plane, you have nothing to worry about. Of course, they must have enough battery to work, so make sure they are charged before your flight. As you will learn shortly, you can even use your AirPods for devices that belong to the plane. (Source: KnowTechie)

How Do You Connect AirPods To A Device On A Plane?

AirPods can connect to different devices on a plane. The process involves two types of connection:

  • H1 processor
  • Bluetooth 5.0

The main difference between the two Bluetooth connections is that the H1 processor is specific to Apple products. Because AirPods and other Apple devices are manufactured by the same company, they are more compatible. Still, the difference in connection speed may not even be noticeable to you.

If you connect your AirPods to another Apple device, such as an iPhone, the H1 processor in the AirPods allows for a smooth, quick connection. Bluetooth 5.0 is used for connecting to non-Apple devices, and the process may only take a moment longer.

When you want to activate your AirPods to listen to audio from an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, it only requires a few steps. For an iPhone or iPad, switch your device into Airplane Mode to prevent disruptions within the function of the plane. After doing so, go back into your settings and turn your Bluetooth on. When you activate your AirPods, they should connect to your device with no problem. (Source: Good Home Automation)

For a MacBook, first, turn off WiFi and Bluetooth to set the device into Airplane Mode. Once you confirm that the WiFi is not on, you can turn the Bluetooth back on and connect your AirPods. Keep in mind, however, that newer MacBook versions may have an actual Airplane Mode, in which case, follow the steps regarding other Apple devices.

Is Using AirPods On A Plane Allowed?


As of 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does allow AirPods on planes. As long as you set your device to Airplane Mode and carefully follow the steps listed above, you will not get into any trouble for using AirPods on a plane. 

Before 2013, the FAA had restrictions on devices allowed on planes, but the capacity of the restrictions has since been lifted. Again, you must still comply with the rules of the aircraft by turning your devices to Airplane Mode. Even in a terminal, the airport might still ask you to use Airplane Mode.

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

Perhaps you prefer not to use another device’s battery during your flight, but you would still like to be entertained. If you do not wish to use your phone to listen to audio, you might choose to watch a movie provided through the televisions attached to the seats of the aircraft.

However, if you have flown before, you are likely all too familiar with the low-quality headphones provided by airlines. Sure, they get the job done, but they are poor for noise-blocking and never seem to fit securely in the ears. 

The Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth transmitter allows you to use your AirPods while watching a movie on a plane. Instead of plugging the provided, wired headphones into the headphone jack, you can simply plug in the transmitter and connect it to your AirPods. 

AirFly offers high-quality products, and the Twelve South AirFly Pro is no exception. It can be easily stored in your carry-on bag and used at your convenience, and the process of connecting your AirPods to it is as simple as ever.

Is A Bluetooth Transmitter Worth It?

The wireless Twelve South AirFly Pro relieves you of the trouble of low-quality headphones, particularly regarding not having to hold them in your ears and worry about the wire getting caught on an armrest or becoming unplugged. 

A Bluetooth transmitter is absolutely worth it. For the reasons listed above, it simplifies your flying experience and allows you to use your high-quality AirPods to enjoy movies or games on aircraft televisions.

In addition, the Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth transmitter can be used for purposes outside of flying. It can connect to several devices:

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Speakers
  • Other Bluetooth-compatible devices

It is affordable enough to be worth its use on an airplane but can also be used for anything else you would like. Whether you are working out or cleaning your home, the Twelve South AirFly Pro is a nice accessory to have.


AirPods do work on a plane. When connecting, make sure the device you are pairing with is on Airplane Mode, but do not forget to turn on Bluetooth. When paired with a Bluetooth transmitter, you can even use your AirPods to watch movies from the aircraft’s televisions. The Twelve South Airfly Pro Bluetooth transmitter is a great option to use in this instance.


John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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