Do you remember how Samsung suffered the indignity of having the Galaxy Note 7 banned from U.S. flights and how one exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight? Apple is attracting somewhat similar attention after Bloomberg cited a statement from the US Federal Aviation Administration confirming that 15-inch MacBook pros in 2015 with banned batteries are banned from flights in the United States.
The FAA's statement follows a voluntary recall of the devices Apple issued in June after discovering that the batteries were a fire hazard because they tended to overheat. The recall applies to all variants of this model that were made between September 201
There have been no reports that one of these MacBook Pro models caught fire during a flight.
Technically, this ban has been in place ever since Apple issued its recall. On July 10, the FAA quote acknowledged a Digital Trends post with images of the affected MacBook reminding that "reclaimed batteries are not flying." This is the FAA's policy for all recalled batteries, although it is rare for them to be so publicly called.
Based on Bloomberg's report, the main difference in this case is that the FAA notified the airlines of the recall and issued today's statement. The bottom line is that if you own an affected model and you have not replaced the battery – and probably do not have documentation confirming that you replaced it if you did – you will not be able to take your 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2015 with you on a flight either as a carrier or as a cargo.
This shouldn't be too much of a deal, as Apple clearly prints model numbers and serial numbers on the back of their laptops, but this ban can cause less frustration solely because so many MacBook's from this decade look just at first glance .
So far, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has only asked airlines to make sure all affected MacBook's are turned off and not used for the duration of a flight. The model is already banned on four carriers this week: TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy and Air Transat.
How to check if the MacBook Pro has been recalled
If you are not sure If your MacBook Pro is affected by the recall and associated ban, you can quickly find out by clicking the Apple icon ( ) in the upper left of the MacOS menu bar and then select About This Mac . If the overview menu says "MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid-2015)", you probably have one of the affected models. Copy the serial number and then link it to Apple's recall page so you know for sure.
After that, you must take it to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to have it replaced for free. Alternatively, you can use the Apple Support Page to submit it, but the entire process can take as long as two weeks.
To be on the safe side, you must keep the replacement documentation while traveling.