FAA tells airlines MacBook Pros with defective batteries can’t fly
The Federal Aviation Administration has banned certain 15-inch MacBook Pros with potentially defective batteries from US flights. The move, which follows Apple’s June recall announcement, is part of a general FAA policy on devices with defective batteries.
“The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops,” FAA spokespeople said in emails to Ars Technica. Under FAA policy, affected MacBook Pros are banned from the passenger cabin and from checked luggage.
The FAA says it alerted airlines about the recall in early July. The agency also says it informed the public on social media around the same time, though it didn’t get much attention at the time.
Regulators in the European Union have also restricted the recalled MacBooks from use on European flights.
Apple isn’t the only manufacturer to have devices restricted from US flights. Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 after several exploding battery incidents. After one unit exploded onboard a Southwest Airlines flight (thankfully it hadn’t yet taken off), the FAA banned the devices from US airlines.
Which laptops are affected?
Affected laptops were mostly sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
“In a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” says a statement on Apple’s website. If you have a 15-inch MacBook Pro, you can visit Apple’s recall page and enter its serial number to determine whether your machine is affected. Apple says it will replace the batteries at no charge, though replacement could take up to two weeks.