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Travel Update for Banned MacBook Pro Laptops on Flights

Many airlines are now placing restrictions on 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops, following Apple’s recall of some laptop models purchased from September 2015 to February 2017.

It’s understandable, due to safety concerns over the lithium ion battery and the potential to catch fire, but it is becoming increasingly complicated for MacBook owners to know exactly what restrictions are in place because airlines are applying individual regulations.

Here is what we know to date…

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar Airways have all banned all Apple MacBook Pro laptops from being brought on board as checked baggage. Passengers will now be required to carry laptops as part of their cabin baggage and must be switched off for the duration of the flight.

Passengers travelling on Singapore Airlines flights will no longer be allowed to carry onboard the older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro (2015 to 2017).

“Customers are to refrain from bringing the affected models either as hand-carry or in checked baggage until the battery has been verified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer,” Singapore Airlines announced in a statement on Sunday.

Thai Airways has simply prohibited any of the 15-inch MacBook Pro machines released between September 2015 and February 2017, noting that “the Thai safety policy strictly prohibits passengers from bringing older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops onto Thai aircraft in carry-on bags or in checked baggage. These devices were distributed by Apple Inc. between September 2015 and February 2017 and were recalled as batteries in some of these laptops could overheat.”

The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration has banned the laptops on commercial flights in the US and the FAA has reminded airlines they should not be carried either in cargo or as carry-on.

India has also banned the devices outright for flights within the country.

If you’re not sure if you have an affected MacBook Pro model, you can check online here.

It is not known how long the travel ban will remain in place, so if you intend to fly with your MacBook Pro, we recommend checking with your carrier so you can be sure of the airline’s current restrictions.

Also, prepare yourself for some chaotic scenes at airports, while we all try to get our heads around the different restrictions!