The Federal Aviation Administration banned certain 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops from commercial flights after Apple issued a voluntary recall because of a fire risk associated with the lithium-ion batteries in the laptops.
In a statement, the FAA said it was “aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops” and reminded airlines to follow safety guidelines issued in 2016 about consumer electronics with recalled batteries.
According to those guidelines, electronics with recalled batteries should not be allowed on flights as cargo or in carry-on luggage. That would apply to the affected MacBook Pros.
To see if their laptop is affected, MacBook Pro owners can visit Apple’s recall page and enter the serial number, which can be found by clicking the small Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the menu bar and then clicking “About This Mac.”
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency advised that the MacBook Pro models should be switched off and not used during flights. It was not clear whether the agency would follow its US counterpart, though the agencies often align such safety notices.
Several airlines with cargo operations managed by Total Cargo Express — TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy, and Air Transat — banned the affected models from being flown as cargo, Bloomberg News reported, citing an internal notice. TUI Group also said passengers would be prohibited from bringing the affected models on board, according to Bloomberg.
The recall, which Apple announced in June, applies to 15-inch MacBook Pro units primarily sold between September 2015 and February 2017. It said the battery in the affected laptops can overheat, potentially swelling or igniting.
People with an affected MacBook Pro can get the battery replaced for free, Apple said.