Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Airlines Ban Some Recalled MacBook Pro Models From Flying, Citing Fire Risk

Airlines Ban Some Recalled MacBook Pro Models From Flying, Citing Fire Risk

The 2015 MacBook Pro meets this qualification. That is great because nobody wants to go down in a plane because of a faulty battery.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's page for the MacBook Pro recall, Apple sold about 432,000 of the affected laptops in the US and 26,000 in Canada.

Apple announced in June "a voluntary recall of a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units which contain a battery that may overheat and pose a safety risk". According to the Verge, rather specifying any enforcement actions, an FAA statement referenced general guidelines prohibiting any items with a recalled lithium-ion battery from flying as cargo or carry-on without special fire safety packaging. "Avoid carrying recalled batteries when flying until repaired/replaced per manufacturer instructions".

In a July 10 tweet following an incident involving a MacBook, the FAA said "recalled #batteries do not fly".

United States aviation regulations prohibit carrying recalled batteries on flights unless they've been replaced or stored in special packaging that inhibits fires, according to FAA guidelines on hazardous materials.

It is not immediately known how many MacBook Pros will be effected by the ban.


A 2015-2017 MacBook Pro with a defective battery looks exactly the same from the outside as one that does not, and according to Bloomberg, a Canadian notice in June estimated that only a limited number of laptops were recalled - around 458,000 sold in the US and Canada combined. And there's not an easy way to identify them.

An Apple Macbook Pro with Touch Bar.

First, you will have to turn your MacBook Pro on, log in, and show them your unit model name in the "About This Mac" from the Apple menu.

"Please note that the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017 is prohibited on board any of our mandate carriers", a TCE operations coordinator wrote to employees. Stricter rules on shipping them have been introduced since then.

This sounds like a lot of fun for everyone involved - including the people waiting in line behind you at the boarding gate.

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