This might seem like common sense: if your 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display is a fire risk, you can’t bring it on an airplane. But Bloomberg is reporting that the FAA is taking the extra step of explicitly banning those recalled MacBook Pros from being brought aboard as cargo or carry-ons — seemingly singling out these devices like it did with the infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone.
We’ve asked the FAA and TSA to confirm that the MacBook Pro is getting singled out like the Note — we’re not yet seeing any sort of emergency order like before — but if true, a specific ban on the MacBook Pro could be mighty hard to enforce.
Unlike Samsung’s Note 7, which at least had some distinct design characteristics to set it apart from other phones, there’s no easy way to tell at a glance which laptops should be stopped: a 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro that has a problematic recalled battery looks just like a 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro that doesn’t. In June, Apple said only a limited number of units were affected.
That’s probably why Bloomberg writes that “It’s unclear what efforts will, if any, be made at U.S. airports.” But it also writes that at least one European conglomerate, TUI Group Airlines, will be making announcements “at the gate and before takeoff.”
When we asked for comment, Apple directed us to its support page, where you can type in your laptop’s serial number to see if your machine is affected. Perhaps that’s something the TSA could do in an airport screening, but it seems like a lot.
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