Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
Is it okay to pray Witr in a plane even if one knows they will reach their destination before fajr, out of fear that by the time they complete prayer at the airport, they might not have enough time to cross immigration and get their luggage (provided they are travelling alone and don’t know how long their luggage might remain on the conveyor belt before the next flight comes in)?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
If the prayer time enters while you are on the airplane, it is valid and permitted for you to perform it even if you will reach your destination prior to the exiting of the time.
However, you should note that it remains obligatory on an airplane to pray standing with bowing and prostration. If this is not possible, you may pray sitting with an actual bowing and prostration (i.e. with one’s forehead touching the ground). Otherwise, you would have to pray on your seat with head movements but in this case the prayer would have to be repeated once you arrive at your destination.
See: Praying On A Plane
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.