Flight Restrictions of Apple’s MacBook Pro are spreading

Apple's 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models
Apple’s 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models

Matthew Humphries for PC Magazine:

Apple’s voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pros due to faulty batteries resulted in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ban earlier this month. Now the flight restrictions imposed on Apple’s laptops are spreading to an increasing number of airlines.

MacBook owners need to start checking with an airline if they intend to take their laptop on a flight because the restrictions imposed vary. The worst case so far is when flying with Virgin Australia as the airline has decided to ban all Apple laptops from checked-in luggage.

Other airlines confirmed as imposing restrictions include Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways. For Qantas passengers, if your MacBook Pro$2,199.99 at Amazon is on Apple’s voluntary recalls list then it must be kept in your carry-on luggage and switched off at all times. For Singapore and Thai Airways, the affected MacBook Pros are banned from flights.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and product eligibility is determined by the product serial number which you can check here.


  1. I’m wondering, that with all the dangerous battery powered devices on planes, maybe airlines need to develop some kind of fireproof container to help contain any fires, perhaps with some kind of airlock emergency ejection system for it.

  2. He has identified the units at risk and arranged for them to get battery replacements. He cannot control whether the airlines choose to ban perfectly safe unaffected computers.

    1. There is a lot Timmy could do.

      He could sit down with the FAA and explain the recall and exactly what is affected and what is not.

      He could accelerate the recall. (The average battery replacement time is over two weeks at this point. How many people depending on their MacBook Pros can give up their device for more than two weeks? How big is the financial impact and time/effort impact of renting a replacement laptop setting it up to use, and then wiping it when done? The replacement should be IN STORE and take less than a few hours!)

      He could sit down with the heads of the top 15 or 20 airlines in the world and work out a non ban solution for all but the small subset of MacBook Pros affected. (You’ve probably seen the old “plane spotter” placards from WWII. Apple could do something similar for the airlines and TSA.)

      He could create an obvious way the airlines to check if an affected machine has been updated.

      The list goes on and on and on.

      There are many things Timmy could do, and he’s doing none of them for that $130 million total compensation he’ll get this year.

      1. The up-to-two-weeks processing time is why I had to wait a month and a half before getting mine done. It took 7 business days (10 calendar days; dropped it off on a weekend) before I got the email saying it was ready for pickup. For consultants this is an unacceptable turnaround time.

        The long tail of Apple’s thinness fetish is whipping back on them, and users are caught in the backlash, what with not being allowed to use their laptops in-flight, even if not affected by the recall.

Reader Feedback

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