Virgin Atlantic bans use of all Apple, Dell notebook batteries in-flight

“Virgin Atlantic has become the third airline to impose restrictions on laptops, following the recall of millions of ‘exploding’ batteries,” Matthew Broersma reports for ZDNet UK.

“The airline has banned the in-flight use of most Dell and Apple laptops, following recalls of thousands of batteries by both computer makers. The decision follows similar moves by Qantas and Korean Air,” Broersma reports.

“Only a small proportion of the laptops are affected by the faulty batteries, but the new Virgin policy, announced on Friday, bans passengers from bringing batteries for any Apple or Dell laptop on board,” Broersma reports. “Customers can carry a limit of two batteries in their carry-on baggage, if they are “individually wrapped/protected”, Virgin said in a passenger announcement published on its site.”

“Dell announced last month that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries made by Sony because they could overheat and catch fire. Apple also said last month that it would recall 1.8 million Sony-made batteries for similar reasons,” Broersma reports. “Passengers can use the affected laptops on board only if the battery is removed, Virgin said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s discontinued iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 models are the two Apple products affected by battery recall. Those models – which used lithium-ion batteries – have since been replaced by the lithium-polymer battery-powered MacBook and MacBook Pro products respectively.

Apple products affected:
Computer model name – Battery model number – Battery serial numbers
12-inch iBook G4 – A1061 – ZZ338 – ZZ427, 3K429 – 3K611, 6C519 – 6C552 ending with S9WA, S9WC or S9WD
12-inch PowerBook G4 – A1079 – ZZ411 – ZZ427, 3K428 – 3K611
15-inch PowerBook G4 – 3K425 – 3K601, 6N530 – 6N551 ending with THTA, THTB, or THTC, 6N601 ending with THTC

More info: Battery Exchange Program iBook G4 and PowerBook G4

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Korean Air bans use of Apple PowerBooks, iBooks, and all Dell laptop models during flight – September 05, 2006
Dell Japan President blames Sony for recall of fire hazardous batteries – August 29, 2006
Sony-made battery fire in discontinued Apple notebook computer reported in Japan – August 29, 2006
Apple to recall 1.8 million Sony-made iBook G4, PowerBook G4 batteries – August 24, 2006
Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others working on battery standard – August 23, 2006
Qantas first airline to restrict in-flight Dell laptop use due to fire-prone batteries – August 23, 2006
Dell and Sony knew about battery problems nearly a year ago, waited for catastrophic failures – August 21, 2006
Dell issues largest safety recall in history: 4.1 million laptop batteries due to fire threat – August 14, 2006
Another Dell laptop goes up in flames – July 28, 2006
Dell laptop fires may have been downplayed – July 22, 2006
NY Times: Dell’s exploding laptop and other image problems – July 10, 2006
Dell laptop explodes into flames at Japanese conference – June 21, 2006


  1. I’m afraid that I have to agree with PC Aplogist (shudder). This is coming to you from a PowerBook G4 that is scheduled for at least another two years of service.

    Also, inflight power adaptors are still not available for the Intel Mac laptops because of Apple’s patent on the MagSafe (or whatever they call it) connector. When is MDN going to get on their soap box about that?

  2. Although this is overkill, can you imagine what would happen if a laptop did go up whilst the plane was in flight? It only takes a tiny incident to force an airline towards bankruptcy these days.

    That’s if their insurance company hasn’t just dictated this to them, which is also a possibility.

    More to the point, where’s my replacement battery Apple?

  3. If this were still a Dell only problem, MDN would be spouting about how Dells were crap and another airline had banned them.

    Instead it’s apparently good news that these faulty machines are discontinued?

    That’s strange especially given the common MDN assertion that people can expect 5+ years out of their Macs.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.