Spotify On A Plane: A How-To Guide?

Catching a flight, whether for work or holidays, can be lackluster if you are flying alone. That is when you yearn for a playlist of your favorite songs or music streaming services the most.

Sadly, flights are missing one thing essential to kill time – Wi-Fi!

We have nothing against those who read books, but it is not the same as listening to relaxing music (or uplifting songs, if that is your jam). On mobile, you can use cellular data in the absence of Wi-Fi.

However, it will not be possible as your phone would be in airplane mode on flights.

Luckily, Spotify’s streaming service gives us access to their ever-expanding library with or without an internet connection.

So, how can you use the Spotify app on a plane when you have no internet connection? Will it work with airplane mode on?

To listen to music on a plan, with or without Spotify, you have the following three choices:

  • Upgrade to Spotify premium, download songs,and listen to them in Offline mode.
  • Use “Offline Node” in the Spotify mobile app and connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi
  • Convert your Spotify playlist with a music converter app to MP3 beforehand

In this article, we discuss the offline mode in the Spotify App, and how to download music that can be played on flights or with mobile in airplane mode. Let us get to it.

Will Spotify Work On A Plane?

For Android and iOS mobile users, Spotify will work on a plane (offline listening) but only if you have a Premium plan. Since you cannot use cellular data on a flight, you must download your favorite tunes or playlists in advance and enable “Offline Mode” in the App beforehand.

Some flights offer free internet (read: in-flight Wi-Fi) and others charge passengers a fee to use it. It is business as usual if you are willing to pay for the connection to stream Spotify music while flying.

If not, you have to figure out how to use Spotify offline.

That’s because you will be requested to set your phone to airplane mode before takeoff. Without the ability to connect to the Spotify servers, you cannot use the app regardless of the plan.

Free users, however, cannot avail of the offline streaming feature and will not be able to use Spotify on a plane at all. If you are keen on listening to music on a flight, download Spotify and sign up (or upgrade) to a Premium plan for just one month to remedy this.

With a premium plan, you can download the music you need for your flight and cancel the subscription a few days before you fly out. You will have access to it for 30 days.

You can enjoy your favorite songs with or without an internet connection for this duration.

Can I listen to Spotify on a plane without a Premium plan?

If you want to listen to Spotify on a plane without a premium subscription, you need a third-party music converter. Find and download a music converter app for macOS or Windows. Rip your Spotify playlists to a universal audio format or MP3. Transfer the songs to your Android or iOS mobile phone. Now, you can listen to these songs using an app like VLC anytime, anywhere.

Does Spotify work with airplane mode on?

Spotify will not be connected to the internet if your mobile has airplane mode on. That means you cannot stream live music or listen to your saved playlists.

However, Spotify premium users can download songs in advance and save them to an offline playlist to enjoy music on flights.

The mobile is offline (without cellular data or an internet connection) in Airplane mode. If you want to listen to music you need to navigate the app to Your Library > Music.

There, you will see a list of all the albums and podcasts downloaded for offline listening.

Note that users can only listen to previously downloaded music for offline listening. Even so, it is better to activate offline mode so that the mobile app will only display downloaded content.

We talk about how to toggle Offline mode in the section below.

How to enable offline mode on Spotify?

Spotify has an “offline mode” feature to only listen to downloaded music and podcasts. You ought to know about this feature if you are planning a flight. It cuts the clutter and displays music downloaded specifically for offline listening.

How to Go Offline Mode in Spotify mobile:

  1. Open the Spotify app and click the gear icon (Settings) on the top-right corner
  2. Tap on the Playback option. Follow the prompt to go offline.
  3. Tap the toggle (round button) to the right of “Offline” to go offline.
  4. Now can you only play music and podcasts you have downloaded?

Here is a quick way to remember it: Home > Settings [gear icon] > Playback > Offline.

Again, you require a Spotify Premium account to listen to music offline on Android and iOS. Lastly, but importantly, do not be stuck in offline mode.

Repeat the same steps (as mentioned above) at a later time to turn the offline mode off.

Does Spotify premium work on airplane mode?

The Spotify app will “work” on mobile in airplane mode or without an internet connection. However, you can only access offline features and previously downloaded music and podcasts until you toggle airplane mode off.

You cannot access features such as live streaming or on-demand playback without an internet connection on your device. This does not apply if you have access to in-flight Wi-Fi.

In that case, you can use Spotify premium as you always do.

Again, you can download music and podcasts for offline listening via the Spotify App beforehand. Enjoy music in Offline Mode while you fly out and switch to Wi-Fi or cellular data after your flight.

But offline content in Spotify is saved as cache files and will disappear if you cancel your subscription.

Note that you cannot download music from Spotify on Mobile if you use their free services. Free users need to find a 3rd party software to rip or download Spotify music to MP3 or other universal audio formats like WAV or FLAC. It is done via a Spotify music converter or extractor.

Download songs on Spotify for offline listening on mobile:

Spotify has several Premium plans such as Individual, Duo, Family, and Student. The information mentioned below applies to all monthly subscriptions.

The method varies slightly for Android and iOS users and we will clue you in on how to do it on both platforms.

The first step is to find a playlist or album you want to download and listen to on the flight (or while offline). Click on the song. Android users will see a ‘Download’ toggle on the top right. Tap or click on that to download it to the desired directory on your phone or SD storage.

iOS users will see a downward-facing arrow on the top left. Tapping it will download the music to your mobile. You can repeat this process as many times as you like if you have the storage space required.

It may take a while for playlists, as each song needs to be downloaded. The exact time for the download process depends on your internet speed.

For more information take a look at this YouTube video.

Deleting Music from the Spotify App on Mobile:

Saving entire playlists or albums on your mobile can take up a lot of space. It’s great if you can afford to let them linger for future use. But you can always delete the music from your mobile if you do not need offline access after your flight.

Go to the Spotify playlist, album, or song and delete it to free up space on your device. To delete downloaded music on Android, tap or toggle the Download button on the right to “off.”

On iOS, click the green downward arrow on the left and you will see a “Remove” prompt (in a pop-up window). Tap Remove to delete the music from your device.


Before we go, do not forget the following while traveling –

  1. a) you lose all downloaded content on Spotify if you don’t go online at least once in 30 days, and
  2. b) you will lose playlist and content if you cancel your Spotify Premium subscription after the billing cycle is complete.

Spotify does this to ensure no user can download their content and cancel the subscription. We have all been tempted to try that.

Either way, ensure that you fulfill those criteria. Lest you end up on a plane with no way to relax other than the white noise app on your phone.

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