United promotes benefits of its Bluetooth enabled aircraft

Passengers use Bluetooth system on United Airlines flight.
Photo Credit: United Airlines

United Airlines has showed off the capabilities of its new Bluetooth-enabled planes. The US carrier currently has Bluetooth connectivity on more than 100 planes and expects it to be on about 800 aircraft by 2032.

One of the standout features of this endeavor is the integration of Bluetooth technology across its aircraft. This move not only enhances passenger experience but also assists seamless communication between passengers and flight crews.

Bluetooth as a Central Component

United Airlines is embarking on a journey to bring air travel into the digital age. As part of its United Next initiative, the airline is committed to modernizing its fleet to provide passengers with the best in-flight experience.

Bluetooth connectivity is a central component of this endeavor, and United is actively implementing it across its planes.

Currently, more than 100 aircraft in the United fleet are Bluetooth-enabled, with plans to extend this capability to approximately 800 aircraft by 2032.


AirPods Pro

One of the most exciting aspects of this technological leap is the integration of Apple’s AirPods Pro. Passengers can now enjoy an array of innovative features that are seamlessly compatible with these cutting-edge earphones.

Conversation Awareness

AirPods Pro’s Conversation Awareness feature is a game-changer for in-flight communication. This feature automatically lowers the audio volume when the user begins to speak.

This enhancement facilitates interactions with flight attendants when ordering food and beverages, making the entire process smoother and more efficient.

Adaptive Audio

Another remarkable feature is Adaptive Audio, a listening mode that dynamically adjusts between Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation.

It adapts the noise control based on the sound in the user’s environment, such as the noise of plane engines. This ensures that passengers can customize their audio experience to suit their preferences.

Photo Credits: United Airlines

Commitment to Connectivity

Jason Birnbaum, United’s Chief Information Officer, expresses the significance of this technological advancement, “United was the first U.S. airline to roll out Bluetooth, and when we saw Apple’s new AirPods features, we knew it could be a game changer for our customers and our employees.”

He adds, “People want to stay connected while they’re in the air, but there’s also a lot of interactions between our crew and customers – the technological combination of wireless connectivity, Conversation Awareness, and Adaptive Audio result in a great experience for everyone.”

Connecting with Bluetooth on United’s Planes

The process of pairing your Bluetooth device with United’s new and retrofit planes is straightforward:

  1. Select the Bluetooth icon from the toolbar near the bottom of the seatback screen monitor.
  2. Toggle Bluetooth on and ensure your Bluetooth headphones are disconnected from other devices.
  3. Put your headphones in pairing mode and select the device from your list of available devices.
  4. Enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies, podcasts, curated playlists, and more without the hassle of wired headphones.

Apple’s Influence

United’s partnership with Apple extends beyond just the AirPods Pro integration. Over the past decade, the airline has integrated Apple products across its operation to enhance the customer experience. Some of the notable milestones include:

  • Deploying the first paperless flight deck with iPads in 2011.
  • Providing over 120,000 Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads, to United employees, fostering real-time connectivity among the staff.
  • Using iPads with Touch ID for swift document sign-offs, preventing delays for passengers.
  • Offering Live Activities support for the United app on iPhone, ensuring passengers receive timely updates and access important flight details easily.

Beyond Bluetooth

In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, United’s new and retrofit planes offer a range of customer amenities, technological innovations, and fuel efficiency benefits. These include:

  • Seatback screens in every seat, ensuring passengers can enjoy their favorite content.
  • Adequate overhead room for everyone’s carry-on luggage, eliminating the stress of limited storage.
  • Fast Wi-Fi for staying connected and entertained during the flight.
  • United Polaris® business class, featuring lie-flat seats and 16-inch seatback screens for a premium experience.

Furthermore, United Airlines has recently announced exciting new business class amenity products and services from Therabody and Saks Fifth Avenue, adding to the overall passenger experience.

As the airline expects 75% of its fleet to be new-generation by 2030, passengers can anticipate a future where seamless connectivity, enhanced comfort, and environmental responsibility are at the forefront of air travel.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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