Traveling on a plane can be boring, especially on long flights. To pass the time, many travelers like to listen to music, podcasts, or watch movies on their phones or tablets during the flight. A common question for iPhone users is whether they can use AirPods on a plane if there is no in-flight WiFi available.

In this comprehensive guide, we will answer this question and provide tips for getting the most out of your AirPods when flying.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s a quick answer: Yes, you can absolutely use AirPods on a plane without WiFi. The AirPods connect directly to your iPhone or other Bluetooth-enabled device via Bluetooth, so WiFi is not required.

How AirPods Connect Without WiFi

AirPods are a popular choice for wireless listening, but can you use them on a plane without WiFi? The answer is yes! AirPods can connect to devices without requiring an internet connection. Here’s how it works:

Bluetooth Connection

AirPods connect to devices using Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth is a wireless communication standard that allows devices to connect and exchange data over short distances. In the case of AirPods, they connect to your iPhone, iPad, or other Bluetooth-enabled device using a Bluetooth connection.

When you pair your AirPods with your device, they create a direct wireless connection. This means that you don’t need an internet connection to use your AirPods. You can listen to music, watch movies, or make phone calls without WiFi.

It’s important to note that while AirPods don’t require WiFi to connect, some features may require an internet connection. For example, using Siri or streaming music from online services like Apple Music may require WiFi or cellular data.

Local Storage

Another reason why AirPods can be used on a plane without WiFi is because they don’t rely on streaming content from the internet. AirPods don’t have any built-in storage themselves, but they can play content stored on your device.

If you have downloaded music, podcasts, or other audio files to your iPhone or iPad, you can listen to them on your AirPods without an internet connection. This is great for those long flights where WiFi may not be available or reliable.

So, whether you’re watching a movie on your iPad or listening to your favorite playlist on your iPhone, you can use your AirPods without WiFi by relying on the Bluetooth connection and local storage.

To learn more about how AirPods work and their compatibility with different devices, you can visit the official Apple website at

Listening to Downloaded Media

When it comes to using AirPods on a plane without WiFi, one of the key factors to consider is the ability to listen to downloaded media. Luckily, AirPods are designed to work seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, allowing you to enjoy your favorite podcasts, music, and audiobooks even when you’re offline.

Download Podcasts, Music, Audiobooks

Before your flight, make sure to download your favorite podcasts, music, and audiobooks to your device. This way, you can have them readily available to listen to during your journey. Simply open the respective app on your device, search for the content you want, and look for the download option.

Once downloaded, you can access and enjoy them using your AirPods without the need for an internet connection.

Many popular podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify allow you to download episodes or playlists for offline listening. Similarly, music streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify offer the option to download songs and albums for offline playback.

Audiobook apps like Audible also provide the ability to download titles for offline listening.

Use Entertainment Apps Like Netflix

If you’re in the mood for some on-screen entertainment during your flight, you can use entertainment apps like Netflix to watch movies and TV shows. While Netflix requires an internet connection to stream content, it also allows you to download select movies and shows for offline viewing.

To download content from Netflix, simply open the app on your device, search for the movie or TV show you want to download, and look for the download button. Once the download is complete, you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies using your AirPods even when you’re not connected to WiFi.

Please note that not all movies and TV shows are available for download on Netflix. However, the app provides a wide range of titles that can be downloaded for offline viewing, ensuring you have plenty of options to choose from for your in-flight entertainment.

Making Calls

In-Flight Calling Restrictions

When it comes to making calls on a plane, there are certain restrictions in place to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable flight for everyone onboard. Most airlines have strict policies against using cell phones for calls while the aircraft is in the air.

This is mainly because the signals emitted by cell phones can interfere with the aircraft’s communication and navigation systems. Therefore, it is generally not permitted to use your AirPods or any other device for making calls during the flight.

It’s important to comply with these restrictions to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. Airlines have the authority to enforce these rules and may take action if they find anyone violating them.

However, it’s worth noting that some airlines do allow the use of certain devices, such as laptops or tablets, for texting or accessing the internet during the flight. It’s always a good idea to check with your specific airline before your flight to understand their policies regarding in-flight phone calls.

Using AirPods for Calls

While you may not be able to use your AirPods for making calls during the flight, you can still use them for other purposes. AirPods can be used to listen to music, podcasts, or watch movies on your personal device.

They provide a wireless and convenient way to enjoy your entertainment without the hassle of tangled wires. Additionally, AirPods have a built-in microphone, which allows you to use them for voice commands or voice dictation.

It’s important to note that even though you can’t use AirPods for calls during the flight, you can still use them as regular Bluetooth headphones. So, if you have a device that supports Bluetooth connectivity, you can pair your AirPods and use them to listen to audio content without any issues.

Just make sure to follow the airline’s guidelines and regulations regarding the use of electronic devices during the flight.

Tracking Your AirPods

One of the concerns many people have when using their AirPods on a plane without WiFi is the possibility of losing them. However, Apple has implemented several features to help you track your AirPods and locate them even without an internet connection.

Find My App

The Find My app, available on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, allows you to locate your AirPods using Bluetooth technology. By opening the app and selecting the AirPods from your list of devices, you can see their last known location on a map.

This can be particularly useful if you accidentally leave your AirPods behind on the plane or in the airport.

Additionally, the app provides the option to play a sound on your AirPods, making it easier to locate them if they are nearby. This feature can be especially helpful if you’ve misplaced your AirPods in your carry-on bag or in the seat pocket in front of you.

Offline Finding Mode

Even without an internet connection, you can still utilize the Offline Finding mode on your AirPods. This feature allows your AirPods to emit a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby Apple devices.

If another Apple device with the Find My app installed comes within range of your AirPods, it can relay the location back to you, helping you locate them even without WiFi.

It’s important to note that while the Offline Finding mode can be helpful, its effectiveness may vary depending on the proximity of other Apple devices with the Find My app. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to be proactive and keep a close eye on your AirPods while traveling.

For more information on how to track your AirPods using the Find My app and Offline Finding mode, you can visit the official Apple support website.

Tips for Using AirPods on a Plane

Charge Fully Before Flying

Before you embark on your airplane journey, it’s essential to ensure that your AirPods are fully charged. This will ensure that you have uninterrupted listening pleasure throughout the flight. Charging your AirPods to their maximum capacity will provide you with several hours of playback time, allowing you to enjoy your favorite music, podcasts, or movies without any interruptions.

Enable Bluetooth Before Takeoff

Prior to takeoff, it’s important to enable Bluetooth on your device so that your AirPods can connect seamlessly. Most airlines allow the use of Bluetooth devices during the flight, so make sure your Bluetooth is turned on and your AirPods are in pairing mode.

This will enable you to connect your AirPods to your device effortlessly and enjoy your entertainment in-flight.

Activate Airplane Mode

While AirPods can be used on a plane without Wi-Fi, it’s still a good idea to activate Airplane Mode on your device. This mode disables all wireless communications to comply with airline regulations and prevent any interference with the aircraft’s navigation systems.

By activating Airplane Mode, you can still enjoy your AirPods without any interruptions, and it also helps conserve battery life on your device.

Clean AirPods Before Inserting

Before inserting your AirPods in your ears, it’s a good practice to clean them. Over time, earwax and debris can accumulate on the AirPods, affecting their sound quality. Using a soft, lint-free cloth, gently wipe the exterior of the AirPods to remove any dirt or grime.

This will ensure that you have the best audio experience during your flight.

Use Single AirPod to Stay Aware

If you prefer to stay aware of your surroundings while using AirPods on a plane, you can use a single AirPod instead of both. By using only one AirPod, you can still enjoy your audio content while keeping one ear open to hear important announcements or conversations around you.

Simply remove one AirPod from the charging case and insert it in your ear, leaving the other ear free.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline regarding their specific policies on the use of wireless devices during the flight. These tips will help you make the most of your AirPods and enjoy a pleasant and uninterrupted audio experience while flying.


In summary, you can absolutely use your AirPods during flights without WiFi connectivity. The key is to download any media you want to listen to or watch beforehand so it is available offline. Make sure your AirPods are fully charged, keep your device in airplane mode, and use the Find My app if needed to help locate missing AirPods.

Following these tips will allow you to enjoy your AirPods inflight and help pass the travel time.

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