12 Apps for Travelers Stuck in Airplane Mode

The magic of flying can captivate anyone.

The view. The eerie excitement of crossing a large body of water. The invigorating feeling as you approach your destination.

However, international flights can also be a tad boring—especially the really long ones! There really isn’t much to do except sit, sleep and watch dull movies.

We can change that.

We found 12 of the best apps for airplane mode to install on your device during your long trip across the state, country, continent or world.

Don’t plan on paying for pricey in-flight Wi-Fi? No problem! Many of these apps have offline capabilities so you can enjoy yourself without spending a dime.





Website | iOS | Android

If you’re a book lover who’s too considerate to disturb your neighbor by flipping on the light, you’re in luck.

Audible is a massive resource for audiobooks in every genre you could possibly think of. Just pop in your earbuds, pick a book and take yourself far away from that cramped little seat.

Once you download a book, you don’t need an internet connection to read it. 


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What better way to spend your flight time than studying a foreign language, especially if you’re flying to a country where people speak that language!

I know: sitting and reading language textbooks or listening to lectures isn’t fun. But we aren’t talking about either of those.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Watching authentic videos is an entertaining way to immerse yourself in a language the way native speakers really use it while actively building your vocabulary.

Also, you can access interactive flashcards and vocab lists, annotated subtitles and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn.

You’ll need to connect to Wi-Fi to watch FluentU videos, but you can download certain files for offline use, such as transcripts.

Minecraft Pocket Edition


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There’s no shame in a little leisure time. And what better time waster exists than Minecraft?

The mobile phone version is just as easy and addictive to play as the original. Your flight will be over in no time.

Minecraft Pocket Edition can be played offline, but you’ll need an internet connection to play with other users.


pocket app

Website | iOS | Android

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a magazine curated specifically to your personal tastes?

With Pocket, you can save online content to read later. This includes news articles, blog posts, videos, stories, recipes and anything else!

You can add your favorite online publications to the mix and create a constantly updated feed with only the things you like. Since you’re going to be on a long flight, Pocket can help you catch up on all that content you’ve saved for a rainy day.

The best part about Pocket is that, once synced, the app functions entirely offline. How cool is that?

Bejeweled Classic

bejeweled classic

Website | iOS | Android

Like Minecraft Pocket Edition, this game is a great time waster for long, boring flights.

Bejeweled exercises your noggin with gem-matching challenges that steadily become fast-paced and addictive. It’s also pretty flashy and colorful. Who doesn’t love that?

The one downside is that, because Bejeweled features in-app ads, this game can only be played with an internet connection.


stack app

iOS | Android

Stack is perfect for people who don’t necessarily love traditional mobile games but want something that can ease their nerves.

This app will shift your focus to something other than, well, being tens of thousands of feet in the air.

Stack is a colorful, tricky game that just requires you to stack little slabs. You’ll need an internet connection to play this game, though.

If you like this game, you can check out others from its developer Ketchapp.



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You might as well fit a Netflix binge into your long flight! Doesn’t that sound much better than trying to find an in-flight movie you like?

Netflix has a ton of entertaining television shows, web series and films available for streaming. Some content is even available to download ahead of time and watch in-flight without having to pay for data.



Website | iOS | Android

Do you love going down rabbit holes of information?

It’s easy to lose yourself by clicking Random article on Wikipedia and swimming through all the interesting facts you can learn with this open-source encyclopedia.

The best part? The offline app version of the site makes all this possible without paying for pricey in-flight internet. You’ll exit the plane knowing so much more useless (and useful!) information than you did when you boarded.



Website | iOS | Android

Who doesn’t love Spotify?

This music streaming website is sleek, easy to use and free (with ads).

If you have a Spotify Premium membership, you can download music and playlists to listen to offline. You’ll be able to serenade yourself to sleep without paying a pretty penny for just a few hours of internet access.


Website | iOS | Android


Do you get nervous on airplanes? There’s no shame in that!

Sanvello (formerly Pacifica) is a fantastic app that helps people deal with stress, anxiety and depression.

With Sanvello, you can track your daily habits to figure out what gives you life and what stresses you out. Use the app to meditate, learn coping mechanisms and connect with others for peer support.

You can use Sanvello offline if you’re doing meditation, but not all of the activities are optimized for offline use.

White Noise Lite

white noise lite

Website | iOS | Android

Sometimes airplanes have a weird energy about them. Either they’re incredibly noisy thanks to crying children and chatty adults or they’re hauntingly, uncomfortably quiet.

If you need some ambient noise to ease your nerves or soothe you to sleep, White Noise Lite is a great app to download. It even works for soothing fussy babies and easing headaches. It works offline, too.

Air Traffic

air traffic


Air Traffic is a flight tracker that shows you the routes of others planes cruising in the air, as well as your own.

Air Traffic is great for the flight enthusiast who wants to see a relatively realistic 3D picture of what air traffic actually looks like. It’s a fun time waster, and it gives you a better sense of what you’re a part of as a frequent flyer.

Since this app requires GPS access and tracks other planes in the air, you’ll need an internet connection to use it.


We bet that upcoming flight isn’t nearly as daunting now that you have these awesome apps on hand.

Who said that flying has to be boring or scary? These best apps for airplane mode will entertain you for hours on end!


Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.

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