July 12, 2024

United enhances Bluetooth connectivity 

United has expanded its Bluetooth connectivity with new wireless headphone capabilities.

The airline’s new Bluetooth-enabled planes will be compatible with wireless headphones such as Apple AirPods Pro, with features geared towards making it easier for passengers and flight crews to communicate.

Using AirPods Pro, travellers can access capabilities such as Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio.

Conversation Awareness, which is available for second-generation AirPods Pro, lowers the volume when the user starts speaking. 

Meanwhile, Adaptive Audio is a new listening system that blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation, adjusting the noise control based on the sounds in a user’s environment.

To use their wireless headphones, passengers must select the Bluetooth icon from the toolbar near the bottom of the seatback screen monitor before toggling ‘Bluetooth on’ and ensuring their Bluetooth headphones are disconnected from other devices. After placing them in pairing mode, travellers can select the device from their list of available devices. 

United plans to ‘modernise and grow’ its fleet as part of its United Next strategy. The carrier currently has Bluetooth connectivity on more than 100 planes and  expects it to be on approximately 800 aircraft by 2032.

Jason Birnbaum, Chief Information Officer at United, said: “United was the first US airline to roll out Bluetooth, and when we saw Apple’s new AirPods features, we knew it could be a game changer for our passengers and our employees.”

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