Remember the whole Samsung Galaxy Note 7 ban on airlines? If not, you still may see signs around reminding passengers they cannot fly with those because of the battery issues. Well, now it is Apple’s turn – and on a much larger device. Now, the FAA has banned some MacBook Pros from flying due to faulty battery on a particular model.
FAA Has Banned Some MacBook Pros From Flights Due to Faulty Batteries
Let’s get this right out of the way now – the MacBook Pros that have been banned by the FAA are mid-2015 MacBook Pro 15″ models sold between 2015 and early 2017. Not all versions of that laptop are banned, only ones that Apple has said need to be recalled due to faulty batteries.
The FAA was not the only one – the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) actually put out a release about this model at the beginning of this month – found here.
How Do You Know If Your MacBook Pro Is Banned?
That question kind of opens up a whole other issue (which we will get into below) but Apple has issued a recall for certain MacBook Pro laptops that were made in 2015 and sold between then and early 2017. These models are the older design (no USB-C ports and commonly referred to as the MBPr). To find out if your 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display is affected by this recall, head over to this Apple website and enter your serial number.
My MacBook Pro exploded today during normal use. No injuries, luckily. Some damage to the house. Could have been worse – good thing I wasn’t on a plane.
— White Panda (@whitepanda) May 29, 2019
What Happens if My MacBook Is Included in the Recall?
If your MacBook Pro is affected, you will need to take it to an Apple service center for a free repair. Do note that it may take longer than other repairs if they send it out due to the fact that it must go by ground delivery because of the battery issue.
If you do not get this battery replaced by an Apple service center, you will not be able to take that laptop on an airplane!
Problems with This FAA Ban on Select MacBook Pro Laptops
Here’s the biggest problem with this ban – it is limited in scope (as it should be) and most TSA employees and flight attendants (as well as most other people) will be unable to spot if your MacBook Pro is a 2015 model or not.
Even if it is a 2015 model, not all of them are unable to fly with this ban. That means that you may want to carry a printout of your MacBook’s ineligibility for repair from the website above and be prepared to show your serial number as it matches that printout
This could get a bit messy as no one wants a battery exploding in flight, of course, so there will be some agents and attendants that will be extremely cautious about people’s MacBook Pro laptops. This is definitely not going to be as easy as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 ban where all of them had been banned (that was around 2.5 million units worldwide).
This ban has to deal with a total of 432,000 potentially affected MacBook Pros sold in the US and 26,000 in Canada. That does not mean that those half of a million laptops will have a problem but that does mean that there are half a million laptops out there that cannot fly right now – at least until the batteries are repaired.