back to article Stuffing your MacBook Pro in a ziplock bag before a flight ain't gonna cut it, say Feds

The Federal Aviation Authority has reiterated that recalled MacBook Pros that haven't had their faulty batteries switched are not welcome in carry-on or luggage stowed aboard flights. MacBook Pros made between 2015 and 2017 - about 432,000 machines in the US and Canada - need to be returned to base to have their batteries …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    need to be returned to base to have their batteries replaced.

    You can send them by car, truck, bus, boat, train or horseback, all fine, but not by airplane.

    1. simonlb
      FAIL

      And it will only takes two weeks to replace as well. Amazing!

      I'm off to browse Amazon now for that £20 replacement battery for my Asus laptop. The one I can change in 15 seconds.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That doesn't fly with me either.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      >but not by airplane.

      I suspect you can send them by airplane; a logistic company's airplane, just not on a passenger carrying plane.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        How is that any less dangerous?

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          If a truck catches fire, likely there will be zero casualties. A mess, a traffic jam, lots of lost stock, but even the driver is unlikely to perish.

          If a plane catches fire in mid-air, 300 lives are seriously and immediately at risk, not to mention whatever it hits on the ground.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can send them by car, truck, bus, boat, train or horseback, all fine, but not by airplane.

      I have already returned my Macbook Pro by catapulting it in the direction of the Apple repair center. I hope they'll fix it and send it back in two weeks.

      1. JassMan Silver badge
        Joke

        @AC

        The 2 week wait is because they can't fly them back to China for the battery replacement. They have to go by slow-boat.

    5. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I expect

      they'll bung them in one of these.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Just returned from Holiday

    Who is responsible for screening for these MacBooks?? TSA? They were more interested in telling us to take off our shoes and belts.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Just returned from Holiday

      A TSA agent will be able to recognise a MacBook. But a specific model-year of MacBook that hasn't had its battery changed; I don't think so, unless they have a way to scan the serial number to check its status.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Just returned from Holiday

        Even if they checked the serial number they can only tell if it is one of the affected ones, not whether it has been fixed.

        This is a rather pointless advisory. I can only assume it is being announced to try to urge people with one of the affected ones to get it fixed, by making them fear they won't be able to take it with them on the plane. In reality no one is going to stop them, any more than airlines stopped people bringing a Galaxy Note 7 on the plane with them.

        1. Drew Scriver

          Re: Just returned from Holiday

          It proves that that TSA needs more staff and more authority to "keep us safe". Right? Right?

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Just returned from Holiday

          This is a rather pointless advisory.

          Or it's effort to keep some fanbois from flying? Who know? TSA is bloody swamp of inconsistency.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Just returned from Holiday

            TSA screeners are highly trained in cyber threat detection

            One insisted that I turn on my laptop.

            It booted to a UEFI prompt

            No that wasn't "on" enough

            I had to boot Linux login, start X and show him a mouse pointer moving around

            I assume bombs only run windows and so once he was sure I was running XFCE he was happy

        3. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

          Re: Just returned from Holiday

          Even if they checked the serial number they can only tell if it is one of the affected ones, not whether it has been fixed.

          So, does this mean you have to take the invoice with you to prove it was replaced? Or is this one where they will make you boot it up and they can see the repair history in the logs?

  3. macjules Silver badge

    Certificate Required?

    And what proof exactly do I show the American Airlines automated checkin system at Heathrow?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Certificate Required?

      You mean to say that you put your laptop in checked baggage? At Thiefrow? brave man.

      The TSA will naturally overreact and just ban all Macbooks from flights. Overreaction? Yep but nowt new there then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Certificate Required?

        But then how will Customs and Border Patrol ransack our private files?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Certificate Required?

        "You mean to say that you put your laptop in checked baggage? At Thiefrow? brave man."

        Probably very brave as I suspect its against all the stated checkin regulations to put a device with a LiOn battery in hold luggage. I've had this discussion with people at the gate for a couple of airline recently when they've told me I will have to put my hand luggage in the hold - after raising the issue of LiOn batteries and hodl luggage with them they say I should take anything with a battery out first, so after taking out camera, tablet, kindle, laptop etc I allow them to put the now empty flight bad in the hold while I carry all the contents on board to put in the overhead locker (which turns out to have plenty of space .... causing on one occasion another passenger to get seriously annoyed with the flight attendant over the fact that her expensive laptop is now sliding around an empty locker without being protected by the flight case)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Certificate Required?

          >causing on one occasion another passenger to get seriously annoyed with the flight attendant over the fact that her expensive laptop is now sliding around an empty locker without being protected by the flight case)

          The nice thing about the soft slip cases is that (once the laptop has been removed) they can be rolled up and put in a pocket - no longer luggage...

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Certificate Required?

          I think having to put hand luggage in the hold is caused by all those selfish people trying to get away with the biggest wheeled case they can, causing those delays getting off the plane as they struggled to find and lift their bag. That's along with the ones who when boarding spent 5 minutes crying because there's no space directly above their seat and their bag has gone down the aisle somewhere and they have to wait for everyone to get off before going back down the plane to find it.

        3. RPF

          Re: Certificate Required?

          These are called "excepted Dangerous Goods" in the business. They're allowed in the hold just fine, but it is better if they're with you for monitoring (and not getting stolen).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about Macbook Pros purchased in other parts of the world?

    Do they also have dodgy batteries, I have one of these laptops which I bought a few years ago, it's not my main laptop so I don't use it very much but I bought it in Asia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Macbook Pros purchased in other parts of the world?

      Check your serial number here:

      https://support.apple.com/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall

      My MBP is a 2015 bought as an Apple refurb, which the S/N check says is not an affected unit. Not clear how I would convince the Testicle-Squeezing Administration of that, though.

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Taking out incendiary devices seems reasonable for air carriers; but I do wonder how they are being returned both across the Atlantic and the American continent.

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    Get's my vote

    After all today's batteries are, in effect, slow explosions. That is, slow most of the time.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Get's my vote

      Not just today. All chemical batteries have always been slow explosions. So is our organic metabolism, for that matter. Billions of tiny little slow explosions per second distributed around our bodies. Sleep tight!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article suggests that MacBook Pros that have not yet had the battery replaced wouldn't be be allowed on the plane. My MacBook had the battery replaced early in July. I've called TUI, and they have stated that they *will not* allow my laptop on the plane on my upcoming trip, despite the work being carried out and having documentation from Apple to prove it. I don't know how they would even check, but if it came up, I imagine it would be quite a pain to deal with at the airport.

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      WTF?

      Are they planning on examining every bag at the door of the aircraft, that's going to go down well with boarding passengers are airport operations.

      As you've got the paperwork supporting the work being completed Security are going to let you through.

      1. tuppence

        you're assuming that the bod on the gate is capable of independent thought......

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  10. razorfishsl

    It's all falling apart now......

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