“Korean Air has forbidden the use of Dell and Apple laptop PCs during flight due to the risk of battery explosion,” Cho Jin-seo reports for The Korea Times.
“The Korean national flag carrier said yesterday that the ban was put in place from Aug. 30, after the two U.S. computer manufacturers announced the recall of batteries used in some of their laptop models. The batteries, manufactured by Sony, were reported to have caught fire while in use on several occasions,” Jin-seo reports. “The airline prohibited all models of Dell laptops and Apple’s Powerbook and iBook series, while users can still carry them if they separate the batteries into checked baggage.”
Jin-seo reports, “The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration also is reviewing the general safety of rechargeable lithium batteries, according to the Washington Post.”
“On the new safety policy of Korean Air, An Apple Korea spokesperson Kim Min-seok played it down as ‘a little overreacting,’ saying none of the U.S. airliners have adopted such rules despite the sales of the laptops being significantly higher in America than in South Korea,” Jin-seo reports.
Jin-seo reports, “Dell Computer also questioned the airline’s decision, saying it was unreasonably harsh to restrict all models, including ones that do not use the Sony batteries. ‘They could easily check out whether a laptop uses a Sony battery or other brand instead of banning them all,’ Dell’s product manager Shin Won-jun said. ‘We are going to solve this issue by further discussions with Korean Air.'”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Airlines have a lot to worry about, but if we paid hundreds of dollars for plane tickets and had a PowerBook or an iBook with an already-replaced battery, we should be able to use it. The same goes for people trying to use Dells running Windows, too. And good luck to MacBook Pro users trying to explain to Joe Baggage Screener the difference between your Mac and a PowerBook. Hopefully they’ll explain upfront to baggage screeners that MacBooks are fine. If this goes widespread with the airlines, somebody could make some cash short-term by selling faux MacBook Pro labels for PowerBooks with batteries that aren’t recalled or that have already had their recalled batteries replaced.
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