DGCA, which is India’s aviation regulatory, is banning some 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops sold by Apple between September 2015 and February 2017 from flights. The regulatory body said that these laptops have been deemed fire hazard because their batteries can overheat. The banned MacBook Pro laptops will neither be allowed in checked-in baggage nor in hand-baggage unless they have their battery replaced or they have been deemed safe by Apple.
Earlier Apple had issued a battery recall for some MacBook Pro laptops that company sold for nearly two years starting 2015. “Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and product eligibility is determined by the product serial number,” Apple had noted in its recall advisory.
Following the Apple announcement FAA, which is aviation regulator in the US, had banned the recalled MacBook Pro laptops from flights.
DGCA in its note said, “Consequent upon the recall of a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops by Apple (sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017) due to fears that their batteries may overheat and pose safety risk, DGCA requests all air passengers not to fly with the affected models either as hand-baggage or checked-in baggage until the battery has been verified/certified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer.”
The advisory, although clear is a bit tricky for MacBook Pro users. There is only a small batch of MacBook Pro laptops that have been affected but airport and flight security staff may not have a way to find out which MacBook Pro has been affected and which is not. This may result in an effective ban on all MacBook Pro laptops in flights, or at least may end up causing difficulties for fliers who carry a MacBook.
Apple on its website has provided a tool where a MacBook Pro user can find if their laptop has been affected or not. If it is part of the laptops that Apple has recalled, the company will replace its battery for free. Apple notes on its website, “Find an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have your battery replaced. Your MacBook Pro will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program. Service may take 1-2 weeks.”