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The big picture: Avid readers and affectees of Apple's MacBook Pro, sold between September 2015 and February 2017 might remember that the company issued a voluntary recall a few months back due to a potential safety hazard involving the laptop's overheating battery. While many customers would have returned their machines for a fix, there is still a chance that the affected models could end up in one or more flights, prompting the FAA to issue a ban for all the recalled models.
Back in June, Apple issued a voluntary recall of its select 15-inch MacBook Pros with defective batteries that were prone to overheating and could end up on fire. The company requested customers see if their particular model was eligible for a free battery replacement and send the affected machines to an Apple Repair Center for service, where an initial examination and subsequent repair would take 1-2 weeks for completion.
Given that an affected model could pose a serious safety risk during a flight, Bloomberg reports that the Federal Aviation Administration has now prohibited all recalled models from being taken on flights as cargo or in carry-on baggage. A statement issued by the US safety regulator said that it was "aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops," and that it alerted major US airlines about Apple's recall of the affected models.
The publication also cited an internal notice sent to Total Cargo Expertise employees, a cargo operator of four airlines that include TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy and Air Transat. "Please note that the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017 is prohibited on board any of our mandate carriers," said the notice.
The UK based TUI Group Airlines confirmed this development and said that its airport staff and flight attendants will make announcements about these MacBook Pros at the gate and before take off, in addition to notifying passengers about the ban on its website. Though it remains to be seen if any similar efforts will be taken at US airports.
As appealed earlier, users or someone in their acquaintance still using an affected model should determine if their system is at risk by selecting About This Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen, on seeing "MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)", they should quickly head over to Apple's recall page and enter the model's serial number (found on the laptop's underside or original packaging) to check if it's eligible for a free battery replacement.