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Which MacBooks are banned from US flights?

MacBooks banned from US flights
Book 'em: certain MacBook Pros are not allowed on US flights

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If you’re travelling in the US with a MacBook laptop, you might be facing a difficult conversation at airport security. The US Federal Aviation Administraion (FAA) has told airlines that certain MacBooks must not be allowed on flights because of fears over dangerous batteries. So which models are affected?

The MacBook models that are banned from US flight

According to this Bloomberg report, the FAA has informed US airlines that “the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017″ are “prohibited on board any of our mandate carriers”.

This statement refers to the MacBook Pro laptops recalled by Apple earlier this summer.

The difficulty US airports and travellers will now face is identifying which MacBooks are on the banned list and which are not. It’s not as if the MacBook Pros sold between 2015 and 2017 are markedly different from models sold before and after those dates. Airports that naturally want to err on the side of caution may simply impose a ban on MacBook Pros altogether. And remember, this is a total ban on carrying these devices, both in the hold and in hand luggage.

If you are stopped at airport security, you might want to have this link to the Apple Support site handy on your smartphone. It allows you to enter the MacBook Pro’s serial number to identify if it’s affected by the recall.

What’s the situation in Europe?

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) takes a more relaxed approach to the troublesome MacBook Pros.

It sent out an advisory at the beginning of August warning airlines about the recall, but stopped short of an outright ban on carrying the devices.

Instead, passengers with the affected units are “required to keep it switched off and not use or charge the device”. That’s not going to be easy for the cabin crew to police, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to check affected MacBooks in hold luggage. You might want to think about packing protection for your laptop in such an eventuality.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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