Tuesday,  November 12, 2019  12:05 pm

Passengers advised to consult airlines after MacBook Pros linked to fire hazard


Passengers advised to consult airlines after MacBook Pros linked to fire hazard
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Back in June, Apple recalled "a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units", citing the potential for the batteries to overheat and promote a fire risk.

Apple reports that the affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and product eligibility is determined by the product serial number.

Can the devices still fly?

As a result of Apple's recall, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued a notice on those specific laptops.

In a statement, the FAA claims that it alerted airlines about the issue back in July, and that it's the sole discretion of the airlines to determine whether or not it will accept a specific device.

As the laptop models contain lithium batteries, the FAA has explicit rules cited in its standard practices, which states that it will "prohibit air cargo shipments of lithium batteries and lithium battery powered devices when they are the subject of a safety recall or when the lithium battery has been identified by the manufacturer as having a safety defect."

The FAA took to social media to update the public and inform them of any next steps:


Media spokesperson for the FAA, Ian Gregor, insists it's not a "laptop ban", referencing a statement outlining instructions about recalls outlined in the 2016 FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) which says:

"The hazardous materials regulations prohibit passengers from bringing on board “batteries and battery-powered devices which are likely to create sparks or generate a dangerous evolution of heat, unless packaged in a manner which precludes such an occurrence. The SAFO references these requirements, but does not mention specific devices. Accordingly, it’s up to the individual airlines to determine whether a device is likely to “create sparks or generate a dangerous evolution of heat,” and to transmit that information to their passengers."


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