Have MacBook, won't travel.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) surprised everyone by announcing that select MacBook Pros are now banned from U.S. Flights. Like the Samsung phones banned before them, Apple laptops also have batteries that pose a fire risk when they overheat. Is your MacBook Pro the exploding kind? What do you do if it is? What if you’re at the airport right now? We’ve looked into it and we have the answers for you here.
What Type of MacBook Pro Is Banned From Flights?
Here’s the deal: all 15-inch MacBook Pros (sold between September 2015 and February 2017 to be specific) will be banned entirely from flights, which will impact around 432,000 Apple users. How do you know for sure if your laptop is one of those recalled by Apple and banned by U.S. airlines? Head to Apple’s recall page, and type in your MacBook Pro’s serial number. If it’s eligible for a recall, it cannot fly.
Is your MacBook Pro the exploding kind? What do you do if it is?
What Do I Do If I’m at the Airport With a MacBook Pro?
Well, we’ve got some bad news. If you’re traveling on a domestic airline, you won’t be able to fly with your laptop in your carry-on or in your checked bag. That means leaving your laptop behind. If you’re driving, this might be time to run back to your car. If you’re lucky enough to be flying out of (or back into) an airport with luggage storage, it will cost you around $5 to $20 per day to store your laptop, depending on the airport.
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If you’re flying international on one of the airlines that does allow your MacBook Pro to fly, and you’re not nervous about being the person whose carry-on suddenly burst into flames or incinerated everything in their checked bag then … Godspeed, we guess. Several international airlines are allowing the recalled laptops to fly. However, now that the FAA has made a ruling banning them from all U.S. flights, more airlines are likely to follow suit.
I Have a Flight in the Future and a MacBook Pro. What Now?
While it’s unfortunate that electronics manufacturers are still making products with exploding batteries, Apple does seem to be making some effort to make things right with owners of their banned laptops. That rectification comes by way of a battery swap. After you enter your serial number on Apple’s recall page, you can send your laptop back to the Apple Repair Center to have the battery swapped out.
You have three options for getting this done. You may find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store or contact Apple Support to arrange to mail your laptop in yourself. Whichever option you choose, advises Apple Support, the process will take between one and two weeks so plan accordingly.
Once you have replaced your battery, you can legally fly with your laptop. However, airline staff may not take your word for it. It’s probably best to bring the paperwork to prove that your battery has been replaced just to be safe.