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U.S. airline regulator bans Macbook Pro models with recalled batteries

Got an older 15-inch Macbook Pro? Planning to catch a flight soon? Then you might want to read this.

Published onAugust 14, 2019

An Apple Macbook Pro.
An Apple Macbook Pro with Touch Bar.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it’s banning select Macbook Pro models from flights in the name of safety.

The ban comes after Apple announced in June that it was recalling batteries used in some models, as they could overheat and present a safety risk. Apple’s recall affects 15-inch Macbook Pro models sold between September 2015 and February 2017.

“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,” the airline regulator told NPR and Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

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At the time of Apple’s disclosure, the Cupertino company confirmed that users could get their battery replaced for free if they had an affected model. Nevertheless, this might come as a shock to travelers who haven’t been able to get a free battery replacement just yet (affected models with new batteries are still allowed).

The FAA decision also comes two weeks after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency posted a warning about the affected laptops. It said that passengers are not allowed to turn on the laptop or charge it during a flight.

Bloomberg adds that four airlines with cargo services managed by Total Cargo Expertise — TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy, and Air Transat — have banned the affected Macbook Pro models from being carried as cargo.

Not sure if your laptop is affected? You can enter your Macbook Pro serial number over here to find out.

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