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Does Kindle Work on Airplanes? How About Apple Books?

A woman reading article on Kindle in a plane.

There are two things I love: reading books and flying away on a plane to experience a great adventure or do business with people and companies far away. But there’s that old quote, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

Airplane flights, even the most comfortable, can be a dismal venture that can ruin any vacation or business trip by bookending the experience with stress. There’s not much ability to move around, sometimes it takes hours just to get on the plane, and sometimes it takes what seems like forever to fly to the destination and if I had nothing to do it would be really boring.

Crafting My Own Journey Experience

Couple basking on the sun near a beach reading books.

Crafting my own experience on a plane has become vital for my self-care and can enhance my journey in a significant way.

That’s where my love of reading comes in. Back in the day, I went with friends to a wonderful beachside resort ready for 3 days of basking on the sand and getting a fabulous tan. Unfortunately, we had chosen a week when it poured rain and had dismal weather, and, given we had nothing to do, but the beach, it could have been a vacation nightmare.

But I went to exotic places in my mind. You see, it wasn’t a loss,  because I was armed with lots of books. I brought fantasy, mystery, biography, adventure, horror, romance, and a few business and self-help books. I didn’t read them all but I had plenty of books I could choose from.

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My friends laughed. Fortunately, on that vacation, we had driven, because when we weighed all the books I brought, it was 122 lb of books. But those adventures in weighty books last me for 3 days.

This is Where Kindle and Apple Books Come In

Now, I use a Kindle, my BFF Jay uses an Apple book. I can have all those books that I read long ago, downloaded to my Kindle, slide the Kindle (which weighs less than a pound) into my carry-on, and get on a plane and go on an adventure. It doesn’t matter if it’s an 18-hour flight or if I get stuck on a layover or get bumped off a plane and have to wait for the next flight.

I have plenty of reading materials to keep me company, entertain, and enlighten my journey.  This is the wonderful advantage of taking a plane:  hours of uninterrupted reading time and relaxation.

Can I Take My Kindle or Apple Book on a Plane?

Reading articles on kindle in a plane.

Can I take my Kindle or Apple Book on a plane? Well, the easy answer is yes, but there are some restrictions and some glitches. I can’t use any electronic devices on takeoff or landing.

Airport security will allow me to take my Kindle on board, whether it’s in my hand, or in my carry-on bag. This applies to most airline carriers.

Let’s face it when I’m looking at taking a 10-hour flight, there are things that I expect to happen. My seat will become uncomfortable after a while, there’s sure to be at least one screaming child, and I usually hit enough turbulence to make me feel like I’m popcorn on a hot stove.

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As travel restrictions become tighter and tighter, and I seek the ease of traveling in comfort, the accessibility, and convenience of a small Kindle or Apple book can do the trick and magic illusion of taking a journey within a journey.   It can not only make the time pass by, but it fits snugly and carry-on and doesn’t add weight or bulk.

Glitches Be Gone

According to Rick Steves’ Europe, airline Wi-Fi tends to only have two availabilities Android and Apple. Fire is the customized Amazon version and applies to their Amazon Kindle.

The problem being is that if I haven’t downloaded the books into my Kindle or my BFF’s Apple Book some airports on layovers and some airplane carriers, for example, American Airlines, won’t have the connectivity I desire.

How to Make Flying With a Kindle or Apple Book Easy-Peasy Simple and fun

According to Amazon’s digital device form, I can read books that I’ve downloaded while I have Wi-Fi service on the ground, but most planes will not permit downloads. So, I make sure I have the complete download of the books I want before leaving the airport, or better yet before leaving home. So, does my pal, Jay.

Packing and Checking My Kindle and Apple Book

A woman reading a on an Apple Book.

One of the challenges of packing my suitcase or carry-on is what to bring. I think of my Kindle as a suitcase within a carry-on. According to Techwalla, The first-generation Kindle offers 2GB of storage, sufficient to store about 1400 books.

The Kindle Touch doubles the storage capacity to 4GB and can hold about 3,000 books. According to Apple Forums, it’s not as simple with an Apple Book. There’s no absolute answer to the number of books.

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It will depend on the size of the books.   So, I don’t know if I will win or if Jay wins on the number of books we can bring.

Checking to See If My Device Will Work on the Plane Before I Go

A person turning on the Airplane mode on system settings.

I turn off my Wi-Fi and make sure that I can open the books that I intend to read. Nothing is worse than finding out they won’t open. According to the Apple Forum: Prior to going to the airport, try putting the iPad into AirPlane mode and see if you can open the books that you will want to read.

Remember, some books are on the iPad and some aren’t. Books in the “reading now” section within the cloud won’t open. Try opening the iCloud books and then going back to Airplane Mode.

There’s nothing worse than thinking you have a great book all lined up to find it just won’t open. This prep time will save you frustration and a lengthy conversation with the airline attendant who may or may not be able to help you with sketchy wifi.

Happy reading!  I know I’m looking forward to my next reading binge, I mean, plane flight.  I will enjoy my inner journey, maybe in a different universe.  And I’m hoping you enjoy yours, too.