The FAA has an existing ban on any device with a recalled lithium ion battery. This puts some 2015 MacBook Pro models on the no fly list.
A fire on an airplane is much worse than a fire in a car or other vehicle. With pressurized cabins and circulating fresh air, airplanes are sealed, aluminum tubes cruising at around 30,000 feet. Even the smallest fire can wreak havoc, polluting the cabin with toxic air. Even worse, if the fire is big enough to cause a breach, pressurized air will be sucked out of the cabin. This could result in even more damage to the plane, causing passengers to be sucked out of the plane or worse.
The FAA and other international aviation authorities have strict rules for flammable substances, including lithium ion batteries. Faulty lithium ion batteries can fail and cause a runaway thermal reaction. Basically, as the battery gets hotter, it generates even more heat until it combusts. This often results in an explosion and fire. If this happens on a plane, the results could be disastrous.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the FAA didn’t issue a specific warning against the MacBook Pro. Instead, it is covered under an existing rule prohibiting recalled batteries on flights. There are no specific policies in place to enforce this rule. It’s up to the passenger to leave their recalled MacBook Pro behind.
Apple recalled certain 2015 MacBook Pros with Retina displays. These models were manufactured between 2015 and 2017. Consumers can visit Apple’s support page to check whether their specific MacBook Pro has been recalled.
As usual, Apple’s recalls are issued with brevity and few details. Affected users can take recalled MacBook Pros to any Apple Store or send them in for maintenance. There is no word as to whether any affected units have combusted or caused any serious damage.