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I will be flying from Antwerp International in Belgium to Alicante International in about 3 weeks on a Tui Fly airplane, and I was wondering about the dos and don'ts of using electronic devices on this flight. In particular, i'm wondering about the following:

  1. Using bluetooth noise cancelling headphones (Philips TAH9550) during the entire flight, including takeoff and landing, which do not have separate power states for bluetooth and noise cancelling: I can either turn both BT and NC on or both BT and NC off, or I can disable NC while keeping BT on, but I can't choose to only enable NC as far as I know.
  2. Using a Kobo e-reader during the entire flight with wifi disabled to read ebooks (no bluetooth AFAIK).
  3. Using an iPad mini from 2019, either cabled with the headphones or with bluetooth enabled between takeoff and landing to watch previously downloaded content digitally.

I know that these things have changed since the last time I have been aboard an airplane in 2012, but I do not know to what extent. I found some questions related to the USA, but it's possible EU rules may be different.

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    Note that irrespective of the electronics aspect, you are not supposed to wear headphones during take-off and landing, as you must be able to hear crew instructions.
    – jcaron
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 13:48
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    @jcaron that's not a blanket rule, and I can't remember seeing that rule recently.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 15:02
  • FWIW, I flew Condor from Germany to Egypt and back in October, and they had a Wifi-based inflight entertainment system. The instructions given were literally "connect to hotspot X, then visit website Y". So, "the phone/tablet needs to be in airplane mode all the time" definitely doesn't apply to every airline. Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 7:12
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    @GuntramBlohm you can turn on WIFI without disabling Airplane mode on most phones and tablets
    – SirHawrk
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 7:33
  • I would be shocked if any of the devices mentioned is a problem, unless you bring a small generator to charge them with. I had my noise-cancelling headphones and Steam Deck complete with Dock, Keyboard, Powerbank and 45W charger and it wasn't a problem. Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 9:15

1 Answer 1

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Each airline has significantly different rules for the usage of electronic devices on board, so if you fly with TUI, you should observe their regulations. I can't find the corresponding page in English, but here are TUI Fly's rules for usage of electronic devices on board in German, and these are the relevant parts for your questions:

  • Electronic devices must not be used during the security briefing.
  • Electronic devices with a radio transmitter or receiver (except bluetooth) must not be used if they do not have a 'flight mode' to disable the radio module.
  • Smaller devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets, e-book readers, cameras) may be used during all phases of the flight.
  • Larger devices (eg. laptops) must be stowed during take off and landing and can only be used when the plane has reached altitude.
  • The crew may due to extraordinary circumstances further restrict the usage of electronic devices.

Which answers your questions as follows: You are allowed to use all the mentioned devices (bluetooth headphones included) during all phases of the flight except during the security briefing. Wi-fi must be disabled on your e-book reader at all times.

As jcaron mentions in his comment, it is indeed common that head phones are not allowed during take off and landing, but the TUI page I am linking to explicitely allows head phone usage 'during all phases of the flight'.

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    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 16:13

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