How to Watch Netflix on a Plane (Guide)

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Watching your favorite shows or movies on Netflix during your flight is a great way to kill time and entertain yourself. Flights can be boring or stressful, especially if you’re boarding a long flight alone. Luckily, Netflix does allow its users to download movies or shows to watch them offline, so you’ll be able to watch your favorite tv shows on a plane. This article will show how you can download your desired shows and movies to watch them offline during your flight.

Important: Mobile Internet Doesn’t Work When You’re on a Plane

You are obligated to turn your phone on airplane mode before boarding a flight, which means data, calls, and SMS won’t work. Even if you try to turn on your mobile data, you won’t be able to catch a stable signal because you’ll be too far from the cellular towers.

Quick Guide: How to Watch Netflix on a Plane

  1. Before your flight, choose a movie or show that you want to watch. You can pick multiple movies and shows, so you have options to choose from.
  2. Click on the movie of your choice, and then tap “Download”. You need to be connected to WiFi or cellular data for this to work: Also, make sure you download the Netflix app to find this button because it is unavailable on the browser version.
  3. Once it’s downloaded, you can access it by tapping “downloads”. You’ll be able to watch it even when your phone is in airplane mode.
  4. Download more movies and TV shows to cover your whole flight. Make sure you have a variety of choices in case you get bored with one show or movie.

Also check out: Airplane Wi-Fi guide

Other Important Things to Note About Watching Netflix on Planes

You Can Only Download Content on the Netflix App, Not the Website

Before you depart your flight, download the Netflix app on your phone (available on Android, IOS, or Windows) because you can only download movies to watch offline if you have the app. Typing “” in your browser won’t allow you to download movies and shows.

Tip: If you want to have the best in-flight experience, consider investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, like the Sony WH-1000XM4 Bluetooth headphones. This will let you stream your favorite shows without any interruptions from other passengers.

You’re Limited to 100 Downloaded Titles on a Single Device

You definitely won’t need more than 100 shows/movies anyway, but if you’re indecisive or want different options to go with your mood, you can download way more shows than you’d need. This is also a great option if you have a layover during your flight, meaning you’ll need to wait even longer hours before you reach your final destination.

You Aren’t Allowed to Watch Netflix During Takeoff, Landing, and Turbulence

Remember that even though you can watch your movie during your flight, you are not allowed to watch your shows or movies during take-off, landing, or turbulence because you must adhere to the airplane crew’s instructions during these crucial times. Make sure you pause your show and take off your earphones during these events. You’re required to do this so you’d have full attention in case of an accident and there wouldn’t be any unsecured objects that could obstruct the path to the emergency exits.

You Can Set the Download Quality in the Settings

When downloading your movies before take-off, make sure you download them in the desired quality to avoid disappointment once you board your plane and realize your movies are low quality. Remember that downloading high-quality movies will take up more space on your device. For context, Netflix uses 0.3 GB per hour on the low setting, 0.7 GB on medium, 1 GB on standard, 3 GB on HD, and 7GB on UHD (4K). A 90-minute film will use about 1 GB on medium quality and 4.5 GB on HD, so the difference is pretty significant if you have limited data.

To change the download quality, open the Netflix app on your phone, tap on your profile icon, then tap “app settings”, and finally “Download Video Quality”. A window will open up and you can select your desired download quality there.

To Save Cellular Data, You Can Set Netflix to Work Only When Connected to WiFi

When trying to download your shows and movies before your flight, make sure you download them using WiFi, especially if you are downloading a lot of shows and movies or if you are downloading them in high quality. This is to avoid data charges. You should always turn your phone to airplane mode when boarding a flight, but if you have your cellular data on for any reason, make sure your Netflix works only using a WiFi connection to avoid roaming charges.

To set downloads to work only on WiFi, open the Netflix app, click on your profile picture, tap “App settings”, and turn on the “WiFi Only” toggle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Watching Netflix on Planes Without Internet

Will Netflix work in airplane mode?

If you’ve already downloaded your shows and movies on the app, you can watch Netflix in airplane mode. If you haven’t downloaded any shows or movies before turning on airplane mode, you’ll still be able to open the app, but you won’t be able to watch anything.

Can I watch Netflix when connected to airline WiFi?

Yes, you can watch Netflix on airplane WiFi, but many airlines charge a fee to use their WiFi on board. Only a few of all the major airlines offer inflight WiFi, and not on all airplane models, but if they do, it’s usually pretty expensive. On average, it costs 5-10$ for an hour or 20-30$ for 24 hours, so you’d be much better off downloading your own shows on Netflix for offline use.

How do I download movies on Netflix for offline use on Mac?

Unfortunately, the Netflix application is not available on Mac PC. It is only available for iPhone, Ipad, and Apple TV. You can still stream Netflix shows or movies on your Mac browser, but only if you can access the airplane’s WiFi.

How can I download TV series on Netflix for offline use on Windows?

To watch Netflix offline on your Windows PC or laptop, you first need to download the Netflix app on the Microsoft app store. You can open it by searching for “Microsoft Store” on your taskbar. In the search field of the app store, search for “Netflix”, and click on “Get”. 

After opening the Netflix app, open your favorite show or movie, and click on the download icon next to it. When it’s finished downloading, you’ll be able to access it by clicking on the main menu icon, and opening “My Downloads”.

Which streaming services can I watch on planes?

If you aren’t connected to the airplane WiFi, then you can basically watch any streaming service on your phone, tablet, or laptop, that allows you to download shows and movies for offline use. The most popular ones that do are Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max (only on phones and tablets), and Hulu. Just make sure to download everything before boarding the plane.

Will Bluetooth work in airplane mode?

Yes, Bluetooth does work on most devices even if you turn on Airplane Mode. This means you can connect your Bluetooth headphones to your streaming device to watch movies or shows even when it’s set to Airplane Mode.

Final Words

Watching movies and shows during your flight is possible if you download them ahead of time. Just make sure to download enough movies and shows to cover your whole flight, and confirm that it’s working before boarding the flight by setting your device to airplane mode.

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