I have always travel on long haul flights with Thomas Cook. This year we are Traveling with British Airways. Can the headset from Thomas Cook be used on British Airways?

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    I'm surprised that British Airways are flying anywhere long-haul still considering travel warnings and travel bans in much of the world outside Europe.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 9:10
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    Who cares about the headset - you get to fly somewhere!!! Good on ya'!!!!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 12:39
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    @gerrit BA and KLM have been flying for a while already, if they ever stopped at all. A colleague of mine just left towards the UK this morning.
    – Mast
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 12:51
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    @gerrit From Schiphol. Sure, it's an indirect flight because the normal flights are all a bit odd at the moment, but people are regularly flying again.
    – Mast
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 13:09
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    @Mast Schiphol-London is not long-haul and in fact so short-haul that its legality in the face of the climate crisis and fast direct alternatives is, in my humble opinion, a disgrace.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


There was a time when airline headsets had two prongs. These couldn't be used with your computer, phone or other headset-accepting devices. These days, most airline headsets have a single prong.

If Thomas Cook provided you double-prong headsets, and the BA plane has single-prong jacks, then you won't be able to use them without an adapter. (While you can buy these adapters, they cost more than the headphones BA will probably be willing to sell you very cheaply. The adapters are useful for people who fly a lot with expensive headphones they want to use on a variety of planes.) It could be the other way around, too: you have single-prong headphones you can't use on a double-prong plane. There are adapters for these, too, but again I don't think it's worth your getting an adapter in advance: if your old TC headphones don't work on the BA plane, pay the pound or two for BA headphones and relax knowing you now have all the kit you need for any plane you might fly on in future.

What I expect is most likely is that you have single-prong headphones and that's what the plane takes. If you want to be completely sure about the plane, provide more details of your flight, so that people who care about and know these sorts of things can tell you what to expect on the plane. (To be completely sure about your existing headphones, look at them.)

As for the "may" part of this, if your headphone fits the jack, no airline cares whether you bought it from them on a previous flight, from another airline on a previous flight, or from an electronics store.

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    British Airways (still) provides earphones for no charge. (And even the U.S. carriers that formerly charged for them now offer them for free again.)
    – gparyani
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 21:04
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    Actually, there's a trick to using single-prong headphone jacks with double-hole plugs - it's worked for me on many different planes! Plug fully into either hole, then slowly pull out the plug until you get sound in both ears. This should line up with a small notch in the hole, so the plug should stay there unless bumped. You might hear a cracking sound when tweaking the plug position, but it's not been too loud in my experience.
    – l0b0
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 7:11
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    @l0b0 I have done this too, but if I remember correctly you only get one of the two channels (left or right) on both ears this way, which might be less helpful if you are listening to something making use of stereo effects extensively.
    – mlk
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 7:38
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    @gerrit You know the 3.5mm connector? Many aeroplanes use two of those. One for the left channel and one for the right channel. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 9:45
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    @gerrit it's definitely a thing, or was in the past. It's not even two plugs either, it's one plug with two jacks on it, so you can't use the headphones anywhere except for in an aeroplane seat.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 10:18

You will be allowed to use them, whether they work depends on the plug on the headset and the actual plane you use.
And on whether BA have an in-plane entertainment system. Although it is the norm that long-haul flights have it.

When you know which route you will fly you can ask for one us to tell you whether it is likely that it will be usefull.

  • 3
    If you do need a plug adapter, they can purchased on Amazon for a few £ or $. Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 16:23
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    @LaconicDruid But you probably won't know if you need an adapter until you board your flight... Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 23:39
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    I think the reasoning goes that if you're the sort of person who is prepared to cart the same set of headphones from plane to plane to plane, instead of repeating the acquire-discard cycle, you're probably the sort of person who's prepared to pre-source a small adapter and carry it with the headphones, even if it's not often needed.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 6:16
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    other retailers are available including those that pay their fair and proper share of taxes
    – Strawberry
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 8:40
  • @MadHatter Indeed. I keep such an adapter with my headphones for that reason. I actually need the adapter pretty frequently.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 16:16

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