Airline Policy on Bluetooth Enabled Headsets?

Hey guys,

After having some issues with my Bose A20 headset and getting it repaired under warranty, I was given the option to upgrade to a bluetooth enabled version. I’m planning to use this headset well into my airline career and my research into this wasn’t exactly fruitful.

What are your airlines’ policy on using the bluetooth enabled version? I understand that listening to music in the cockpit would never be allowed but would they go so far as to ban all BT enabled headsets?


I know guys at the regionals that do listen to music in the cockpit, (I’m not sure if they’re doing so against there airlines policy) Idk any of the airlines policies on things like that yet, but if you’re still flying GA for another year or so I’d say go for it I have the BT a20s and I love them.

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My airline only requires that the headset be TSO approved (which Bose A20s are). The Bluetooth feature just cannot be used for non essential matters.


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Gotcha. I’ll go ahead with the upgrade then. Thank you guys! Much appreciated!


There most DEFINTELY are policies against it at ALL airlines. While all the cool kids want to rock out in the cockpit I’m always curious how’d they feel if another pilot was doing the same with their family riding in the back? True story: years ago I was flying with a super awesome new pilot who decided it was fine to disregard company policy and listen to his tunes in the cockpit. Honestly I hadn’t noticed but he missed a few radio calls but when I did I said “my airplane” and “could you please turn the music off”. He said “why? I don’t see the problem?”. I asked if he knew it was against company policy and therefore an FAA violation and he said yes he did but again shrugged and said “I don’t think it’s a problem”. I said we’ll discuss this on the ground. After we landed he was very annoyed and said “WTF dude?!” I said I need to ask you a question? He (annoyed) said “ok what?”. I asked " what are you going to do tomorrow after I go to the Chief Pilot, inform him that a probationary pilot KNOWING and INTENTIONALLY violated a company policy, get you fired and end your career?". His face turned pale, he started to stammer and asked what I meant? I said “it’s really none of my business but I’m honestly just curious?”. “Won’t your wife/girlfriend be upset after all the sacrifice and supporting you? Won’t daddy be upset that he co-signed that loan and it was all for nothing?”. I then asked “I’m also curious what tune you were listening to that was so AWESOME it was worth losing your career?”. He the said he was “terribly sorry”, I responded that he wasn’t sorry at all, he was afraid and realized he had placed his entire life in the hands of a old crusty not so awesome pilot. He literally begged for his life, literally, and started crying like a baby. I said I’m confused? 10 minutes ago when I asked you nicely (I even said please) to turn off your music you got indignant but now you’re crying? Why aren’t you being indignant now? Why are you telling me “you don’t see the problem now” with a whole bunch of attitude? I left him with a “good luck, take care and maybe I’ll go tell the CP, maybe I won’t BUT maybe before the next time you decide to violate a reg or policy you’ll think for a minute? Fear is a horrible reason to behave correctly but if that’s all I have so be it”.

One of the great things about our jobs is we’re actually very unsupervised and it’s up to each individual to police himself. Unless you’re flying with someone like me who actually takes this job seriously (trust me I’m not the only one) in which case we’ll be happy to help :slight_smile:



I would never listen to music in the cockpit of any airliner, period. It just isn’t a good idea.

I would skip the booth tooth version as you will not be able to use the blue tooth feature in an airliner.

No song is worth my career, and above that, no song is worth the safety of my pax and crew.
It’s just plain stupid of a probationary pilot to be cocky and give you attitude. I would have done the same thing if I were in your place!

I guess I’ll explain the reasoning behind the BT a little bit, during my checkride the tower gave us a phone number while taxiing to the runway (not a deviation, they just had a question for the DPE) and he called them on his cellphone using his BT A20s, I thought it was pretty neat. I also figured it could come in handy in a electrical failure or lost comms kind of scenario, I could just call the tower on my phone. So there are definitely benefits to having it, especially in GA aircraft. But yes, unless I’m just a passenger, I won’t be using the BT function for music :slight_smile: I just wanted to make sure that having BT capability wouldn’t render it unusable in the airlines because of airline policy.

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Cell phones do not really work above a few thousand feet and it can be rather difficult to find a tower’s telephone number. Your examiner could have easily waited and called the tower later. I would not spend my money on this, but that is just me.


I own a pair of BT enabled A20s and outside of the music and ability to make phone calls, there are few benefits over the non-BT counterpart. I fly General Aviation outside of ATP and what have I used the BT for?

  • Picking up an IFR clearance at non-towered airport over the phone with ATC (engine running in the runup area)
  • Connected to ForeFlight for traffic alerts into headset (You will receive TA’s in most ATP aircraft since they are equiped with either the G1000 or L3 Transponder)
  • Occasionally listening to music (not authorized in ATP aircraft)

The value of BT is debatable. Would I spend for it again? Probably but only for the purposes of getting an IFR clearance on the ground.


That’s right, in my area I usually get a decent enough signal below 2-3000ft. It’s just another option to have in case of an emergency. Not exactly a practical everyday use case.
Picking up an IFR clearance on the ground does sound very handy though. (Haven’t had to depart IFR from an untowered airport without an RCO yet, but I can see the benefit)

But I wouldn’t and didn’t spend any extra money on this, it was a courtesy offer from Bose after having issues with my warranty repair. Didn’t cost me anything, that’s why I took the offer.

Also, like Trey said, I’d most likely pair it with my iPad to better hear those aural warnings from ForeFlight. Again, not essential but cool. Maybe I’m just weird for liking those voices. :smile:

We get ADS-B traffic alerts on the G500 and the 430s, they’re not fancy enough to link to foreflight but it does the job :+1: No G1000s over here, hehe.

Bluetooth has its benefits and negatives as you can see. Negative distracts you, positive is that in most of the Seminole’s the traffic syncs to ForeFlight but not archers. However now with the program being only 25 hrs of ME time not as great of a benefit for the Seminole. You’ll find that if you at all struggle getting ahead of the aircraft now, think of going 4 times the speed and wasting time finding a song when you probably should be getting ahead of the aircraft for landing and there’s 75 people behind you. I think I’ve used the Bluetooth for more flights as a passenger than as a pilot. And yes’m the dude with my headset on while in sthe at 32C, I paid a lot of money for these!


I don’t think Efe was implying that he was going to be using the BT to being listening to music during flight operations, AT LEAST I HOPE NOT. His original question was about having a headset with BT capability. If I recall, he need to replace his control module. He called Bose and they said “Okay, but we only make those with BT now.” So, Efe was just asking if that was going to be a problem for him at an airline. Some warnings were given about the dangers of using the BT during flight ops, but nothing prohibits a pilot from having BT capability as long as it’s not used against company policy.

And I’m sorry, but “with the program being only 25 hrs of ME time not as great of a benefit for the Seminole.” Seriously??? I’m having a hard time seeing your point here. How about, listening to music during flight is never a good idea?


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The point I was making was the Bluetooth actually is a big benefit in the Seminole for the traffic alerts that connect with your iPad and foreflight. Since the program is now only 25 hours in the Seminole it’s not as big of a deal to it have the Bluetooth. The music thing we agree on, shouldn’t be using music ESPECIALLY when you’re still learning. I love the Bluetooth for the traffic alerts but I’m in the Seminole for 50 hours so use it a little more. Sorry if my comment didn’t come across right but I a, agreeing with you 100% on the no music just pointing out a reason to have the Bluetooth.

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I think we’re all in agreement with the music issue. No music in the cockpit.

Like Tory said, my question was whether having BT capability would become an issue at the airlines or not. I sent in my non-BT headset for repair, they said they needed to replace the cable and the control module but didn’t have the non-BT version in stock. It would have taken months for me to get my headset back, which was not acceptable since I need it to fly. They then offered to give me a free upgrade and send it back with the BT-capable control module. I just wanted to double-check that this wouldn’t become a problem later on at the airlines. I spent good money on this and I intend to use it until its last breath, and that includes the airlines.

About benefits of having BT in the Seminole, I’m also in the 50ME program so having aural warnings for traffic just like in the Archer would be invaluable. That being said, even in the Archer (despite not having a BT transponder) foreflight does provide other aural warnings when you’re approaching a runway, or how much runway you have left etc. I can just barely hear these through the headset, but having it actually connected to my headset would be a nice upgrade.