Macbook Pro not allowed on planes: where do we stand?

Apple recalled a number of MacBook Pros this summer for battery replacement because the batteries were at risk of overheating, swelling and even catching fire. As a result, the authorities decided to restrict the transport and use of these models on board and some airlines went even further!

An update on the situation.

Which MacBook Pro models are we talking about?

These are 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017. To find out if your computer is affected, simply enter its serial number in the page that Apple has set up to manage the recall of these devices.

But as we will see, some airlines do not take any risks and do not limit the restrictions to these models.

What do the authorities say?

In the United States, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has prohibited the transport of these models in airplanes, whether in the hold, in the cabin or even in cargo!

In Europe, the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Administration) has had a lighter hand, even though it generally follows the FAA. It merely asked that these devices be turned off and prohibited their use in flight.

But how would an airline know that a Macbook Pro is affected by the ban? With the serial number of course but it is still tedious, so some decided to go beyond the recommendations of government agencies.

Some examples.

Air Transat, Air Italy, Singapore Airlines: ban on MacBook Pros in the cabin, in the hold or in cargo.

Virgin Australia: all MacBooks, regardless of size or model, are not allowed in the hold and must be carried in the cabin.

Thai Airways, FlyDubai, Emirates: ban on affected MacBook Pros unless the battery has been replaced.

Qantas: all 15-inch MacBook Pros, whether affected or not, are not allowed in the hold and must remain switched off in the cabin.

Oman Air: ban on Macbook Pros in the hold and obligation to leave them switched off in the cabin.

Etihad: the affected Macbook Pros are not allowed in the hold and must remain switched off in the cabin.

Nothing specific at the level of the European airlines which do not go further than the EASA directive.

This information is of course subject to change over time.

Photo : Macbook pro by guteksk7 via Shutterstock

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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