FAA Issues Ban on MacBook Pro Laptops

If you own a MacBook Pro, you may want to leave it at home the next time you fly. Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ban on select MacBook Pro models, citing fears that Apple’s popular line of laptops could explode or ignite during flight. Of course, this isn’t the first time an electronic device has been banned on commercial flights. In 2016, the FAA issues a similar ban for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. With the MacBook Pro being such a popular product, though, the ramifications of this latest ban could be greater.

Of course, Apple has already taken measures to solve the problem by recalling the affected MacBook Pro models. In June, the Cupertino-based tech company issued a large-scale recall for MacBook Pro laptops with retina display. According to Apple, the recalled MacBook Pros use a rechargeable battery — like most smartphones and laptops — that has a tendency to overheat. As the battery begins to heat up, it may explode or ignite in certain circumstances.

Several MacBook Pro users have reportedly experienced battery fires. On Twitter, one user said his MacBook Pro exploded from normal use. As a result, conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that the affected MacBook Pro models shouldn’t be taken aboard airplanes. If the battery ignites or explodes, it could result in serious damage — as well as loss of cabin pressure — to the airplane.

When speaking about the MacBook Pro battery problems, the FAA said that it alerted commercial airlines in the United States about the fire hazard and issued a public announcement.  “The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops. In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public. We issued reminders to continue to follow instructions about recalls outlined in the 2016 FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 16011, and provided information provided to the public on FAA’s Packsafe website,” explained the FAA in an email correspondence to The Verge.

To see if your MacBook Pro has been recalled, enter the serial number on Apple’s support website here. If your MacBook Pro has been recalled, Apple will fix it by replacing the battery at no cost. Remember, you cannot take a recalled MacBook Pro aboard a commercial airliner. With the FAA’s ban no in effect, you must replace the battery. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to leave your MacBook Pro behind at the airport.