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Having an unfriendly flight! FAA banning MacBook Pro's

OK, so you arrive to the airport with a 2015 MacBook and the baggage checker asked you what year your system is and asks do you have proof the battery was replaced. You fumble not having any way to prove your battery is healthy.

The checker says you can’t board with it and you can’t check it either.

So now what to do?? Throw away your system, or rush back home to leave it, hopefully your friend who dropped you off is still around and you can just hand it to him to take care of it.

Sounds like fun ;-{

Update (08/21/2019)

Louis is on a tear!! OEM batteries explode, so 3rd party batteries are bad. Nice job, CNBC

Update (08/27/2019)

Well, it’s what I feared! All MacBook Pro’s are now banned as there is no means to identify the bad ones!

Virgin Australia bans all MacBooks from checked baggage This is a small airline, it will be interesting if others follow.

Update (08/28/2019)

Now Qantas is joining Virgin Australia Qantas Airways bans MacBooks from passengers’ checked luggage

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Air travel is already stressful enough without having to check your laptop battery.


@kristen - You can't check it either ;-{ Just like shipping batteries by air a big no-no ;-{

Trashcan or friend is it! Or just don't take it.

Check this Q out How to check if my battery is an original one?


@danj You really can't tell outside of the model (A1398) and trackpad to be fair. I wouldn't fear my 2011 at this point but they look completely different.

It's not going to be an easy one to enforce. Just my take on it.

I'm also not traveling anytime soon so I've got time for them to figure out if they target all rMBPs and leave old style machines be or they more or less pick on people who say it's a 2015 on their own. I still have a W7 ThinkPad from when I trusted Lenovo so if I was traveling soon I'd probably bring for now.


@nick - They will enforce it! If you can't tell which egg is bad in the dozen you throw the whole dozen out! Which is what Virgin Australia is doing! Will the others follow?


@danj I don't mind the Virgin approach - that's fine. Where I draw the line is a ban on having it if it is fixed or immune.

I get it somewhat but blocking me from having one because of someone who is a bad apple is the worst way to get support for a ban. The only thing it creates is even more hot water against the TSA.


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I'm glad I have a 2011 since it was all I could afford when I had to replace my A1181 now :p. They probably won't enforce it unless you volunteer the fact it’s a 2015, so most will be okay since the 2012-15 all look the same.

That being said, I think putting the burden on the owner to prove they fixed it and isn't negligent is wrong, as it should be the TSA identifying unrepaired 2015’s.

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I totally understand what they are saying and I get it. After all it could be about public safety. If you have a device that has a faulty battery you should be prudent enough to fix it for no reason other than your devices functionality. None of the sites cited clarifies on who can certify a device. What I have a problem with, is that this could have a much darker outcome. What if I get the battery replaced by OTS instead of by Apple? OTS is going to give me a receipt and a notification that the battery was replaced. At what point is TSA or the carrier going to say “Oh no! It has be certified by the maker of the device or their authorized service center”. Now what? Apple will of course only certify the devices they will fix and will urge TSA and the carriers to only accept certifications issued by the maker. Sorry repair shop owners; you don’t count. Only Apple and their authorized service centers can certify this. So much for the Right to Repair!" Not saying that this is the way it is going to go but…….Coincidence? Smart move? Who really knows.

@nick “it should be the TSA identifying unrepaired 2015’s” H E double hockey stick, NO! I want less of the government and their contractors in my life. I do not need TSA to check my laptop or anything else that is mine! I need to take some responsibility and accountability for things in my life. So, if I got the battery replaced etc. I should make sure to provide proof of what device this is and if it got repaired.

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@oldturkey03 - Being devil's advocate here: So your MacBook Pro lights up in a ball of flames in the empty seat next to you. The seat then gets engulfed in flames and quickly jumps to the seats in front of it.

People are rushing to the front of the plane a few people are badly burn't in the panic no one is able to get to a fire extinguisher and when they do its not enough to put the fire out...

So who is responsible for the lives on the plane?

So far there have been three planes suspected of going down due to Lithium Ion batteries failing. And two near misses! In one case the planes own batteries where involved.

What's Behind the Increase in Lithium-Ion Battery Fires on Planes?


While I don't want the sticky hands of government messing with my gear I don't know how we can keep people safe. Apples failure of QC is at the root of this issue with the MacBook Pro's.

But, they are also pressing with the phone batteries as well preventing 3rd party battery to work properly within the XS, XS Max & XR.


I'm coming from the perspective that it shouldn't be my problem that if I got it fixed, then it's done and I shouldn't need to prove my innocence over something that isn't my fault. I'm open to arguments *why* it should be shifted to the owner, but it shouldn't be a situation where I'm practically being treated like a criminal over a recall.

Why should the burden shift to me where I'm innocent until proven guilty if I have the unlucky year system? If I got it fixed, then as far as I'm concerned I've done my part to be responsible and had the machine made safe to fly and I shouldn't be punished for having a 2015 at the check-in. Yeah I have a suspect system but if I've fixed it that's more responsible then ignoring it and hoping the TSA doesn't stop you with a recalled battery. If they can't prove it wasn't fixed, then you should be presumed innocent and not like you're enemy #1.


@nick - You maybe a more responsible person than the guy next to you. It's also possible the other person never got the word his system need fixing! Or, just wasn't willing to give up his system for the four or so days it would take to fix.

While every day we depend on people being smart enough to drive on the right side of the center line of the road. How many drunks have gone down the wrong side either killing them selves or the poor family just in the wrong place with this clown driving at them. So clearly not everyone is playing by the rules.

I've been on a plane with a phone battery bursting. It was not a pleasant experience! While the airline staff dealt with it quite well, we all had to breathe the fumes until we could land. I'll will confess I was still worried things could have been worse.

Look at the second link I posted!


@danj If I had a 2015 I'd take that thing to the Apple store and get it done when the batteries became available and make time to get it done - even if I had to cut work early for one day and make the time up bit by bit until it was done. I wouldn't buy one without some form of proof it was done either - get it fixed before you sell it or I'm not buying it. I'm going to make it work.

I wouldn't keep a bomb in my laptop, even if I had to sacrifice temporarily. That's why it bothers me I'm a criminal with a recalled laptop to the TSA. My 2011 MBP came with a ~773 cycle battery and my plan is to replace it as soon as it shows signs of failure. While I could in theory get away with treating my high mileage battery a little badly since it's nearly done for at 810/1000 cycles, I still try and charge it at 30-39% to keep it intact to buy some time. It's on my to do list because that's a bit more then I want to live with too much longer.


@danj totally agree and not saying it should not be banned. I for one am and always have been, for public safety. I am questioning where this will go. Is Apple going to benefit once more from governmental regulations and their own sloppy QC? Who will re-certify the device so as to clear it? @nick "won't enforce it unless you volunteer the fact it’s a 2015" so not volunteering that is is a 2015 is okay? It's a 2015 but I am not going to volunteer this information sounds like an act of omission and could that not lead to "disaster"? Accountability, responsibility.....


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