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FAA Warns Airlines about 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros

Bloomberg reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration has warned airlines about the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro that Apple recently recalled due to battery fires (see “Stop Using Your 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro,” 20 June 2019). FAA regulations state:

Lithium batteries recalled by the manufacturer/vendor must not be carried aboard aircraft or packed in baggage. Battery-powered devices recalled because of lithium battery safety concerns also should not be carried aboard aircraft or packed in baggage unless the device or its battery has been replaced, repaired or otherwise made safe per manufacturer/vendor instructions.

It’s unclear what measures will be taken to keep the affected MacBook Pro models off airplanes or how airport and airline staff will be able to differentiate between affected and unaffected units. Meanwhile, cargo airlines managed by Total Cargo Expertise have banned the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro entirely, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has prohibited the use of those laptops during flights.

If you have a 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro, check to see if it’s included in Apple’s recall and if it is, get it serviced as soon as possible to avoid the risk of a fire.

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Comments About FAA Warns Airlines about 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros

Notable Replies

  1. I just had my MBP’s battery replaced. Twice actually, the second time they replaced the top plate assembly, with a new keyboard. It looks great! I do have the letter from Apple acknowledging the repair, so I’m hoping that will be enough to let TSA know I’m flying with a safe machine. I’m curious if they will start asking TSA Pre-Check passengers to start removing their laptops from carry on bags. I’m flying in a week, so will update folks as to what happened.

  2. Ah! That letter from Apple may be the key bit of proof to bring, just in case.

  3. My MBP is a “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)”. But when I plug my serial number into the Apple support site, I get:

    The serial number you entered is not eligible under this program because either:
    * It's not in the affected serial number range
    * Our records show that your device has already been serviced as part of this program.

    I purchased the MBP new on eBay in June, 2017, and have not had any service done on it. The message is not reassuring, as it doesn’t explicitly say why my MBP is safe. How do I convince a TSA agent that my MBP is safe to fly with?

  4. @neil1 - yep, that’s all I could think to do. I printed out that page and taped it to the bottom of the laptop.

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