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2015 MacBook Pro banned from flights in the US

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2015 has followed in the ill-fated footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by being banned on flights in the United States.

In a statement given to Bloomberg, the US Federal Aviation Administration said it was “aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops” and had warned airlines of the recall. 

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The message seems to have been passed overseas too. Bloomberg got hold of an internal memo from Total Cargo Expertise (TCE) reading “Please note that the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017 is prohibited on board any of our mandate carriers.” The group manages TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy and Air Transat. 

A spokesperson from TCE told the site that flight attendants will be instructed to make announcements about the affected MacBook Pro at the gate and before takeoff. Though laptops that have had batteries replaced by Apple will be exempt.

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The ban follows on from Apple’s own voluntary recall of MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017. Owners of the laptop can get their batteries replaced free of charge if eligible.

To check if your laptop is affected and eligible, first check you model of Mac by clicking the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen and pressing “About This Mac.” If the model reads “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)” then go to this site and enter your serial number to confirm.  

While the situation is nowhere near as bad as it was for Samsung – which ended up completely recalling the Note 7 after widespread battery safety issues – having a product highlighted as a safety risk before every flight take off is the kind of PR that Apple could certainly do without.

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