The Meta Quest may soon make long boring airplane rides a thing of the past

A leaked promotional image of the Meta Quest airplane mode feature
(Image credit: @Lunayian on X)

What you need to know

  • VR enthusiast Luna on X (formerly Twitter) uncovered a potential new airplane travel mode feature in Meta Quest update v65.
  • Apple Vision Pro debuted the flight mode feature and this would make Meta Quest headsets also work on airplanes.
  • Firmware v65 is expected to launch in May for Meta Quest headsets.

Meta Quest users may soon be able to use their headsets with proper mixed reality tracking while flying on an airplane. A new flight mode has been uncovered in firmware v65 by Luna on X (formerly Twitter). This mode would make it so that the Meta Quest doesn't constantly lose positioning while the plane is moving at hundreds of miles an hour, a limitation that Quest headsets have always faced up until now.

If you've ever tried to use a Meta Quest headset while flying on an airplane, you'll know that the UI immediately "falls" backward as if it were left in the clouds by the moving plane you're on. This is because the Quest, like other VR headsets, uses sensors that rely on gravity and other factors that don't work in a moving airplane.

A new flight mode on firmware v65, which should launch in May, would help fix this by disabling some sensors while keeping the headset's cameras working for mixed reality capture. This is one of the key differences between the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3, as Apple's headset launched with the ability to use it while flying on an airplane. It even landed Apple some contracts from airlines to offer the headset for customers who want immersive in-flight entertainment.

While there's no guarantee that the new mode will launch with v65 when it's scheduled to go live in May, Luna found the code baked into an early release of the firmware. Based on the code, you'll be able to enable or disable Travel Mode from the quick settings menu on the Meta Quest. That should help save your neck while working or watching movies on a plane since you can place windows at eye-level instead of having to constantly look down at a phone or laptop.

Additionally, the code shows that your headset should automatically ask you if you want to enable travel mode when it detects that you're in a moving plane. The code also notes that users should stay seated while using Travel Mode, so it's probably best to remove your headset any time you need to get up and walk around the cabin.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu