FAA Ban 15 Inch MacBook Pro Laptops

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Earlier this summer, Apple recalled several of their 15 inch MacBook Pro computers that were purchased in Mid 2015. These computers were at risk for having their batteries overheat, which was the cause of the recall.

Fast forward two months, now the FAA has announced a ban of the recalled 15 inch MacBook Pro laptops onboard flights.

Per Forbes,

Following Apple’s June recall for selected 15-inch MacBook Pro computers, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has now effectively banned those laptops from traveling on commercial flights. The restriction covers both carry-on and hold luggage. So if you haven’t returned one of the affected computers to Apple for the free battery replacement, don’t bother traveling with one to a U.S. airport.

For its part, the FAA is essentially simply enforcing an existing regulation that “prohibits air cargo shipments of lithium batteries and lithium battery powered devices when they are the subject of a safety recall or when the lithium battery has been identified by the manufacturer as having a safety defect. Passenger carriage of defective/recalled lithium batteries and devices with lithium batteries installed may also be restricted depending on the nature of the risk and the recall safety instructions.”

One of the hardest parts of this ban is having either the TSA or even flight attendants to identify if a passenger’s MacBook Pro is from Mid-2015, which is what the ban applies for.

The only way to easily tell this is once the computer is on to view “About This Mac”, then it will show the model of the computer, so unless the TSA is going to become experts in determining what year MacBook Pro passengers have, I feel enforcing this ban may not be that practical.

Have you traveled recently with a 15 inch MacBook Pro? Did TSA question what model you had when you went through security? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Just flew Wednesday with a 15-inch MacBook Pro. MKE-DFW-SJC. TSA-Pre, so it never came out of my bag. OAK_DEN-MKE coming up this week so we’ll see….

  2. @Neil Jaehnert, if yours is one of the affected laptops and you haven’t had it fixed yet, I find it a pretty dumb move to jeopardize everyone’s safety aboard a plane. I am sure, that this will not bring down a plane, but I am not a fan of inhaling smoke from a burning piece of electronic. Even tho, posting this public, you should be put on a no-fly list.
    Your comment doesn’t say if you own one of the affected laptops, but because you bring it up, it makes only sense to assume that your laptop os affected by the recall. I was an owner of the Note 7, which got banned, and yes I left it at home. Well, not really! I returned it to Samsung.

  3. It is not one of the affected ones. The point is that, if TSA doesn’t even look at what is in any of the luggage going through pre-check, enforcing this ban is going to be problematic. The comment was clearly in response to the sentence in the article that read: “One of the hardest parts of this ban is having either the TSA or even flight attendants to identify if a passenger’s MacBook Pro is from Mid-2015, which is what the ban applies for.”

  4. I own a MacBook that was not on the recall. So I’d love to know how I am supposed to prove it’s not on the ban.

  5. I also own that model 15 ” MacBook Pro from that time frame (mid 2015) but typing in the serial number on the Apple website it shows my batteries are not affected. Flying next week IAD-LHR-FRA on BA and afraid somebody will stop me and confiscate my laptop as both hand luggage and check-in is not allowed….

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