Apple MacBooks banned on flights

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week announced that select MacBook Pros are now banned from all US flights, reports Bloomberg.

The FAA believes that the batteries in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops pose a fire risk when they overheat – similar to how some Samsung phones did in 2017-18.

Qantas or Virgin Australia also banning Apple MacBooks from checked-in luggage.

Virgin announced the ban first, followed by Qantas and Jetstar. All passengers on these airlines will need to ensure that all MacBook Pros are taken as carry-on and switched off for the duration of a flight.

It is not known how long the travel ban will remain in place.

Some airlines are going a step further, with Thai Airways in particular putting a total ban on MacBook Pro laptops.

So, how do you know if your MacBook Pro is the exploding kind?

All 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017 will be banned entirely from flights, which will impact around 432,000 Apple users.

Visit Apple’s recall page and type in your MacBook Pro’s serial number, which is found on the underside of your laptop. If it’s eligible for a recall, it cannot fly, but you can send it in to an Apple Repair Centre for a battery swap. To expedite the process, you may have to find an Apple Authorised Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store or contact Apple Support. Apple Support advises that the process will take between one and two weeks.

If you arrive at a US airport with a banned MacBook Pro and you’re travelling on a domestic airline, you won’t be able to fly with it in your carry-on or in your checked bag. So you’ll have to leave it behind or find another way to get it home.

Some international airlines will still allow your MacBook Pro to fly, but expect more airlines are likely to follow suit on the ban.

If you’ve had your battery replaced you may need to bring the paperwork along to prove it, otherwise some airport staff will rightfully err on the side of caution and tell you to leave the unit at the airport.

Do you travel with a laptop? Is your laptop a fire risk?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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