Aids On Airplanes

Should one keep hearing aids on when going through security at airports, while boarding and deplaning, and during flights?

No reason not to keep them in…they don’t set off metal detectors and at least the last time I went through an airport, TSA barely acknowledged my HA’s.

THe only reason I can think of for not wearing your HA’s on a plane is to protect them in case of a sudden “water landing”.

Translation…keeping them dry when you CRASH INTO THE OCEAN!!

It’s fine. There is less metal in hearing aids than a typical pair of glasses or wedding band. You are not going to set of the metal detectors and the body scan is fine too. Don’t worry about them.

Not all hearing aids are the same. I have Resound Aleras and there is a warning in the user guide that states:

[COLOR=#231f20][LEFT]When boarding a flight wireless functionality must be deactivated, as it is not allowed to radiate[/LEFT]
[FONT=HelveticaNeueLTPro-Lt][SIZE=1][FONT=HelveticaNeueLTPro-Lt][SIZE=1][COLOR=#231f20][LEFT]radio signals during flights.
It is possible to disable wireless operation by opening and closing the battery compartment of
the hearing instrument while at the same time pressing the push button.
When disabled manually, wireless operation may be re-enabled by opening and closing the battery[/LEFT]
compartment normally, (i.e. without at the same time pressing the push button).

It is always a good idea to check with your audiologist or the manufacturer for details about your particular brand of HA.

All of the above.

I’ve gone through airport metal detectors with the aids in and not set them off. Aids with wireless or Bluetooth functionality may need to have at least that function shut down during take-offs and landings when electronics need to be off. Those aids with no wireless/Bluetooth function or with it disabled are allowed to be powered up during take-offs and landings.

Thanks for the info, everyone. Like NOTLguy, I, too, have Resound Aleras and noticed the warning, but my Audiologist said it would be Ok to wear my hearing aids on planes. I will have to clairify that with her as I will be taking a trip very soon. These are my first aids ever, and I am trying to adjust to so many things.

My Audiogram 2/24/2011
Hz…250…….500….1000….2000…… 4000….8000
R…….60………50…….55……55………60…… 60

To be blunt - some replies above seem “out there”.

  1. Your HA would have to be all metal (which they aren’t) and several times the size to set off an alarm at a TSA screening.

  2. No one has ever proved that using a cell phone would affect the electronics on a plane. Turning off cell phones was a rule instituted years ago before anyone knew how benign they were. The rule is still in effect, mainly, to keep people from annoying seat mates by talking.
    In any case, the amount of signals a HA puts out is a miniscule fraction of a cell phone or a lap top computer on wifi. You don’t have to turn off your HA.

  3. Bose (et al) will charge you hundred$ to sell you a headphone to quiet the noise when flying. Why would you want to keep your HA on and amplify the noise? If you want to watch a movie, TV etc. when on a plane - 90% of HA users can just crank up the std. headphone. Most headphones are hard to use w. an HA because it is hard to get a good fit - so you might as well put your HA away.
    I fly a lot. In the course of a year - 15 -20 trips incl a couple intl flites. I do use a noise cancelling headset and it does cut down on the loud ambient noise while allowing you to hear either conversation or the movie/TV while on the plane.

    Speaking of non-sensical rules - a large So. American carrier won’t allow people to use readers like the Kindle or an Ipad at anytime - even though they don’t put out any signal when you are reading. Traveled from Miami to Buenos Aires w.o. being able to read a book! Can’t use your laptop.

    I can understand wearing your HA while in the airport to better hear announcements as to when to board etc. - although some PA systems at gates are unintelligible to people w. perfect hearing.
    As for some HA mfrs putting in warnings - mfrs. of all kinds of products now find it prudent to put in every possible disclaimer they can think of, no matter how absurd.


The wording used on my several round trip flights recently said that electronics are to be turned off after the door is closed so that you are better able to listen to the safety briefing. Hearing aids are specifically allowed in that airlines magazine and no mention of any radio system in them being verbotten.


I keep my aids in and on during the complete process and have had no problems. However, I have a set of Sony mdr-nc60 noise cancelling head phones that I got just for air travel. Problem is they set off a high pitch tone in the right ear when I put them on. Somtimes it will stop if I pull the right side ear phone away from my head until the aid re-sets and then it is ok. But more often than not the loud tone will continue until I have to remove the right aid, very frustrating.

Hearing aids are medical devices and as such are not required to follow the same rules that apply to devices like iPods and computers.

If that was the case then anyone with an internal defibrillator or diabetic pump would have to turn it off during take off and landing.

The only hearing aids I’ve seen with specific guidelines are the ReSounds.

Starkey Wi Series has a warning too, as seen here on PDF page 13.

It says:

Use on Aircrafts
The wireless capabilities featured in your hearing instruments should not be used on an aircraft unless specifically permitted by the flight personnel. Your hearing care professional can enable a special program that allows your hearing aids to work without wireless functionality.

I suggest that you put your aids in your hand baggage.

Planes are noisy - and aids won’t help much.

Also there is a risk of losing the aids in the cramped space of a plane.

I also regularly have to supply replacement aids to travellers who encounter the delightful security system the US now has in place at its airports. They lose their aids during the searches.

(I know many Europeans who no longer travel to the US for their holidays because of the heavy handed security. As an example I was searched TWICE the last time I travelled through Newark. Insanity. The tourist based industries in the US must be SO pleased.)

A lot of Americans don’t fly anymore because of the security insanity anymore either. My niece who’s husband fly’s for a U.S. airline was searched 3 different times on one vacation with her 2 kids in toe and she doesn’t fit any specific criteria that we know of since she is a redhead with very pale skin color. On 2 of the searches they even went though all her bags. Perhaps they picked her out because she can fly for free.

One cell phone will not cause a problem on a airlpane,but 20 to 30 of them can cause electrical problem.Thats why they are restricted.I know I worked avionics for a airline for 30 years.

I read a Japanese report some years ago about the effect of 100+ phones being used in a railway carriage.

2 watts x 100 phones = 200 watts of radio power floating about.

Add a reflecting tube - the carriage - and then encounter random phased addition of all the signals and you have … some poor soul with a melted eyeball, or a leg catching fire.

It’s all theoretical of course … could never happen in real life …

That’s been proven as being utter nonsense. Today’s NYT had yet another article on this. IF it were really dangerous to use cell phones, terrorists would have used them to bring down planes long ago. It would be easy to boost the radio signal output of a few phones. As the NYT pointed out, not one incident has ever been proven.
And, what about all the signals from the ground based cell towers? And many airlines now have wifi - which you can connect your phone to. Supposedly, you are supposed to put it in “airplane mode” - but a huge number of smart phone users don’t know how to do that.
We took one airline in So. America (forget the name, large airline) that didn’t allow you to turn on a Kindle anytime during the flite.
At least airlines now let you use the phone when the wheels touch the ground. Used to be you had to wait until you were at the gate. That extra 10+ minutes gives you time to have your “ride” pick you up.
Finally, Normally you don’t get cell signal at 30000+ feet. In fact, cell towers are designed so that its sometimes in tall office bldgs. you have a hard time getting signal on the top floors.
I don’t know what havoc, if any, the old analog phones could have caused. Probably none.

I agree. How much RF power is routinely hammered off an aircraft (including the local airport radar)? How much energy is in a bolt of lightening (which strikes aircraft with some regularity)?

What would actually make more sense is the complete banning of anything with a lithium based battery in it. It is rare that they ‘go off’ but I could see how this could lead to an aerial catastrophe. Can you imagine air travel without cellphones, laptops, ipods, etc??? Nope, the airlines will take that risk rather then face that daemon.

Pilot writup HSI wanders 2 degrees at times,fix repaired broken coax on aft antena.Where did the stray signal come from?

Antenna OUTSIDE the plane? The planes body would greatly attenuate radio signals from phones, computers etc. inside.
Sources of ambiant outside radio signals can be from satellites (radio and tv and GPS and various data like weather), from ground based cell towers (although I dare you to find a signal above 20-25,000 feet), conventional radio and TV, etc.
AND FINALLY - Why would a cell phone operating on 800mz (or whatever freq it uses) inside a plane be worse than a gaggle of cell towers operating at 800 mz outside the plane? (or 1900mz, 1800mz, 900mz, 1700mz etc.)

 I know we are way off topic.  However, I am so insensed at some of these urban myths that get perpetuated on the 'net I feel obligated to respond.

total nonsense…