Bluetooth on a plane w/ iPhone ...?

I need to fly someplace in about a week, and I’m a big podcast / audiobook guy - so I figured I’d bring my bluetooth headset for the plane trip. Confirmed with the airline that it’s cool except during takeoff / landing, but just realized…that’s a lot of potential other people with the same idea. Am I going to have lots of frequency congestion and problems? Or should this be largely a non-issue?

I could bring my much larger headphones if I need to and use them wired, but that’s that much extra stuff I don’t want to worry about if I don’t need to.


Never had an issue when I have flown or had to commute to work on a bus full of people with Bluetooth headphones.

Now the microwave at work would always kill my connection a few times during the busy lunch hour.


Yes, it shouldn’t be an issue. Bluetooth can easily handle a higher density of devices than an airplane/airport will put near you, even if everyone is using something.

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In before times I flew every week on very busy planes - never had any issues with my Bluetooth devices or asked to stop using during take off / landing.
This was on anything from a 737 to an A180

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I prefer wired headsets when traveling or driving long distances. Nothing to charge and no chance my AirPods Pro will decide to connect to my iPad in the middle of a call.

I’ve been using Panasonic ErgoFit Wired Earbuds for the last few years. Sound quality for podcasts/audiobooks/calls is good/satisfactory as is the microphone (IMO). $15.

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Yeah, I get that with the AirPods Pro. I’m planning to keep all my other devices off, as I get nasty motion sickness if I doing anything other than listening to audio when I’m in a moving vehicle on the ground. I’m going to assume that applies to air travel just to be safe. :slight_smile:

That said, a wired backup option always seems like a good idea. I’m looking at those earbuds, and it looks like the cord is awfully short. Do you find that to be an issue?

Against Motion-Sickness it is a good measure, to open the Air Outlet overhead your Seat (if available) and to look outside the A/C onto a fixture point in the distance.

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Unless you traveled on some kind of 3rd-World-Airline, they have for sure asked to switch of all electronic devices for Take-Off and Landing, as it is required by law in most countries, and due to the safety of the flight!
It is normally just the problem, that “Frequent Flyer” tend to think, that those announcements on board of an A/C are just for everybody else, but them…! :thinking: :angry:

These days you’ll only be asked to put your devices in airplane mode during takeoff.

I also don’t think you’ll get motion sickness in the air since the vector is so stable and the ground doesn’t register as ‘moving’ if you’ve a window seat–but of course, everyone’s body is different.

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It might be, that some airlines are doing it this way, but that would be against the law in all countries I know so far!
All electronic devices have to be switched of, during T/O and LDG, and to remain in Airplane Mode for the remaining time of the flight, unless the crew advised otherwise.
If you are on a plane with an own cellular network, you can use this during the flight, while it is switched on.

That used to be the case, but several years ago the FAA and EASA changed their rules to permit non-cellular use of electronics. It’s possible other countries are stricter, but those agencies govern the flights of most of us in this thread.

For both agencies, airlines had to go through a certification process to demonstrate that they were safely allowing expanded use. These completed within the first year of the new rulings (so far as I know.)

If someone tends towards motion sickness, this results from a disagreement between his Sense of balance (coming from within the ears), and the informations the Brain gets from other sources like what you see, and what your „Butt-Sensor“ is telling you.
So, if you are predisposed for that, there are high chance to get it on a plane, if you are not used to fly as a passenger.

The overall length of my Panasonics is about 1/2 inch longer than the wired earpods apple use to include with an iPhone. A lightning dongle would add a bit more.

Wire length has never been a problem for me. They are long enough to reach my iPhone mounted on the dash of my car and I never use the inflight entertainment systems. They are very comfortable to wear and cheap enough that I can give a spare pair to an unprepared travel companion :grinning:

Since they have standard plugs you can always buy an extension cable.

Never had a problem.

I think turning off devices during takeoff and landing is a bit of theater so people will listen to announcements.


Little FunFact, I was literally sitting in the room, when the press release you linked was written…
And your knowledge about the certification is wrong.
There are no Airlines who where able to demonstrate that their systems were sufficiently protected, and the simple reason for that, due to the construction of Airliners, and the nature of Radio Frequency’s, it is technical not possible, to demonstrate this in an A/C without an integrated cellular network.
So, only A/C with a build in, and working(!), cellular network are able to manipulate PED´s in a way, that the danger from those devices are sufficiently minimized for a normal operation.

If I understand you, you are thinking of using cellular networks. Cellular calls are still not allowed, yes. We’re talking about using bluetooth and wifi, which are allowed except during takeoff and landing.

That’s cool that this is something you’ve worked on—no disrespect intended when I clarify!

In Fact, there were several deadly Aviation Accidents, that could be blamed on problems occurring due to the use of Cellphones while the A/C were in critical phases of the flight.

And also, completely unrelated to PED, there are a lot of passengers dying during Accidents, because they did not listen to the given instructions.

There is in general no difference between the kind of transmitter (Cellular, Wifi, Bluethoot,…) used.

And you are also wrong when it comes to cellular calls.
They are in fact allowed, in certain phases of the flight, if the A/C has its own working cellular network.

And there seems to be one more misunderstanding in general, the EASA and FAA did not allow the use of such devices at all.
They only “allow” the involved Airline to made such a decision under certain circumstances, as the Airlines where the part pushing this, because they don’t wanted their Frequent Traveler paying the fines for their wrongdoings, and then arguing with the Airline about it.

Yes—I should’ve given a fuller answer here.

I always know the number of rows to the nearest exit and will be the guy climbing over seats while others are trying to get their bags from the overhead. I’ve been on more than one aircraft that has had an inflight problem, been the pilot of two of them.

Every time I watch my fellow passengers ignoring the pre-flight safety instructions I think of that line from Top Gun “your . . . are dead because they were stupid”. When the pilot, flight attendant, crew chief, etc. issues instructions I listen.