It’s understandable that using AirPods can cause confusion when you’re flying. Can you use your AirPods in flight without any worries? In this article, I will provide a detailed and clear answer so that you no longer have any doubts about using your AirPods or other wireless headphones on a plane.
AirPods are Considered “PEDs”
Currently, AirPods are classified as “PEDs” or “Personal Electronic Devices”. This category includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. The rules for using these devices vary according to airlines and airports.
Generally, electronic devices can be used in Airplane Mode during flights but must be turned off during critical phases such as takeoff and landing. It’s also possible that, for safety reasons, the crew may ask you to turn off and stow all your devices at any time.
DGAC Decision on PED Use
As of now, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation allows the use of personal electronic devices during all flight phases. However, other recommendations can be found among airlines.
Electronic devices must be put in Airplane Mode or turned off during critical flight phases, especially takeoff and landing. Electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops can generally be used in Airplane Mode during the flight, but it’s important to follow the instructions of the flight crew.
The final decision on carrying an item in the cabin or its use is up to the security officer or crew member.
Technology Used by AirPods
Like other wireless headphones on the market, AirPods use Bluetooth 5.0 technology. However, they stand out by using other proprietary Apple technologies, which are the W1 and H1. These technologies allow better connectivity and battery management for wireless devices, enabling faster and more stable connections, better audio quality, quicker voice command for Siri, and increased battery life.
What About Airplane Mode?
Although personal electronic devices are allowed on the plane, thanks to improvements in communication and navigation systems used in most planes, the requirement to put electronic devices in Airplane Mode remains in effect.
However, your AirPods need Bluetooth to function correctly. You can safely reactivate your phone’s Bluetooth after enabling Airplane Mode.
Decisions of Airlines on AirPods Use Onboard
Each airline has its own policy regarding the use of PEDs and AirPods on their planes.
According to regulations indicated on Transavia’s website, small electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and e-readers can be used throughout the flight, provided they are set to Airplane Mode. Larger devices, like laptops, must be turned off during critical phases such as takeoff and landing, as well as when the “Fasten Your Seatbelt” sign is lit.
As mentioned on the company’s website, electronic devices like watches, calculators, cameras, mobile phones, laptops, etc., can be used and carried in the cabin.
Air France provides free headphones during the flight. The company also recommends turning off all electronic devices during the flight. However, if you want to use your own AirPods and play multimedia files on your PC or smartphone, it is mandatory to put them in Airplane Mode, and completely turn them off during the plane’s takeoff and landing.
According to Article 11 of the general conditions of carriage available on Ryanair’s website: small electronic devices, weighing less than 1 kg, can be used throughout the flight, if Airplane Mode is activated. However, for safety reasons, laptops and large electronic devices must be stowed during ground circulation phases, takeoff and landing, or any other time requested by thecaptain.
Volotea requires that all electronic devices, including mobile phones and headphones, be used in Airplane Mode, whether during takeoff, cruising phase, or landing.
Vueling allows the use of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) on board its planes, provided they are set to Airplane Mode.
Do AirPods Work with the In-Flight Entertainment System?
The answer is yes. However, there are a few rules to follow if you want to listen to your favorite tracks or watch movies while traveling. One of the main rules is to put your device in Airplane Mode to avoid any interference with the plane’s radio communication.
Going Through Security with Your AirPods
AirPods, like any other electronic device, need to be taken out of your bag and placed in a separate bin for screening.
To Summarize: Using AirPods on a Plane
Yes, you can use your AirPods on a plane. However, it’s important to follow the specific rules and regulations of the airline you’re flying with. Always remember to put your device in Airplane Mode and reactivate Bluetooth for your AirPods to work.