Can I use Bluetooth devices on the plane?

Many travelers use their wireless headphones on planes – but is that even allowed? After all, Bluetooth was banned on planes until a few years ago. In the meantime, however, the regulations have been relaxed at many airlines.

Before every takeoff, air travelers are advised to put their smartphones in flight mode. In this mode, all radio connections are disconnected. Since most people now also use their smartphones as music players, the question arises as to whether at least a wireless Bluetooth connection is permitted during the flight. This is because noise-canceling headphones in particular are becoming increasingly popular, as they filter out annoying airplane noises well. atechbook has asked airlines what the effects of a Bluetooth connection are on the plane.

What do airlines say about Bluetooth use on planes?

Over the past several years, Germany’s major airlines have relaxed their policies regarding Bluetooth use on planes. While a strict ban prevailed for years, there are now some major carriers that allow their customers to enjoy music.

Lufthansa press spokeswoman Sandra Kraft confirmed to atechbook: “You can use Bluetooth devices on board during the entire flight, including during takeoff and landing – unless the crew instructs otherwise.”

Ryanair confirmed via Twitter back in 2017 that Bluetooth connections are also possible on their flights:

Hi, yes this will be no issue. ED

– Ryanair (@Ryanair) August 15, 2017

If in doubt, check with the airline beforehand or with the flight crew shortly before takeoff and switch to wired headphones if possible.

Can I activate Bluetooth without leaving flight mode?

As soon as you deactivate the flight mode on your smartphone, the Bluetooth connection is also deactivated. However, while the device is in flight mode, you can simply reactivate Bluetooth. All other radio connections remain unaffected and they do not violate airline policies.

Why don’t all airlines allow its use?

Aage Dünhaupt of TUI fly tells atechbook that an approval of Bluetooth connections is not solely in the hands of the airlines. First, each airline aircraft model must go through an approval process by the relevant authorities. This test run takes several months. Moreover, since airlines equip their Boeing and Airbus models individually, they cannot adopt approvals from other companies. That’s why some airlines are still waiting for Bluetooth to be officially permitted.

Read at the colleagues of TRAVELBOOK: How dangerous is it when passengers do not activate the flight mode?

How dangerous are smartphone signals on planes?

Can it actually be dangerous not to activate flight mode? First of all, the all-clear: normal cell phone signals have not yet caused an airplane to crash! However, there may be interference with the aircraft’s radio signals, and the pilot may perceive noise that distracts him. Phone calls and mobile Internet are therefore still taboo.