The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has banned select Apple laptops from commercial flights due to fire risks posed by internal lithium batteries.
FAA rules prohibit recalled lithium batteries onboard commercial flights:
Lithium batteries recalled by the manufacturer/vendor must not be carried aboard aircraft or packed in baggage. Battery-powered devices recalled because of lithium battery safety concerns also should not be carried aboard aircraft or packed in baggage unless the device or its battery has been replaced, repaired or otherwise made safe per manufacturer/vendor instructions.
Earlier this summer, Apple launched a limited recall of 15-inch MacBook pro models produced between September 2015 and February 2017. You can find out if your laptop is eligible here.
Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge.
The FAA told NPR:
The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops. In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public.
Indeed, this is not breaking news. The recall was first announced more than a month and a half ago. But this is the first I am hearing about it and wanted to pass on the word in case you have not heard about it as well. I do have an old laptop sitting in my office that has been recalled, so I need to take care of this personally.
You’re on an honor system of sorts with these type of bans and voluntary recalls. TSA or airlines are not going to search through your bag and run your serial number against the recall database. But recalls are for a reason. If you find your Mac laptop has been recalled, set up an appointment at your nearest Apple Store or other authorized service provider to have the battery switched out. Consider the helpful side effect as well that a fresh battery will provide longer life to the laptop.
Are you impacted by the Apple laptop flight ban?