Australia's major airlines have recently announced they're banning passengers from putting MacBooks in checked-in baggage after Apple recalled select MacBook Pro products in June.
The ban will be in place for the foreseeable future on airlines like Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair.
The world’s longest commercial flight is 15,343km from Newark to Singapore and takes anywhere from 15 to 19 hours depending on winds. Nineteen hours is a long time to spend anywhere consecutively other than a womb or a grave, both of which provide more legroom than economy, but Qantas wants to know if we can possibly tolerate any longer.
Virgin Australia was allegedly the first to update its dangerous goods policy to include a notice prohibiting "ALL Apple MacBooks" from being placed in checked-in baggage, citing Apple's recent product recall as the reason.
"The safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. Due to the worldwide recall of some Apple MacBooks, we are requesting all guests take their Apple MacBooks as carry on luggage as a safety precaution," a Virgin Australia spokesperson told Gizmodo Australia.
Qantas and Jetstar also confirmed to us they were banning just MacBook Pros from being placed in checked-in baggage, with both Jetstar and Qantas' websites being updated to include the new restriction.
"All 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros must be carried in cabin baggage and switched off for flight following a recall notice issued by Apple," a spokesperson for Qantas Group said.
Tigerair Australia has confirmed to Gizmodo Australia it too has put a ban on all MacBooks from being place in checked-in baggage from 27 August. The restriction will stay in place until further notice.
Apple released the worldwide recall on June 21, which applies to 15-inch MacBook Pro sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017. The models contain a "battery that may overheat and pose a safety risk", according to Apple. The ACCC also revealed the MacBook Pro models are a literal fire hazard. This is precisely why Australian airlines have implemented the new prohibition over these safety concerns, but it's unclear why they've decided to wait until late August to implement the new policies.
Apple announced it would be replacing batteries for free on affected models. To check if your MacBook Pro is eligible, visit Apple's dedicated support page.
Australia's not the first place to issue restrictions on carrying MacBooks on flights. Singapore Airlines banned all MacBook Pros from both checked-in and carry-on baggage earlier this week. Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific have also recently completely banned the MacBook models from being carried on their flights.
The US' Federal Aviation Administration issued a tweet in July stating recalled batteries, like Apple's affected ones, would not be allowed to fly in the U.S.
#RECALL ALERT: The #FAA reminds passengers that recalled #batteries do not fly. Avoid carrying #recalled batteries when flying until repaired/replaced per manufacturer instructions. Learn how to #PackSafe at https://t.co/OzSsV8ar7m. @USCPSC recall ➡️https://t.co/rKTiTdv4lj https://t.co/kqLCRedilp
— The FAA (@FAANews) July 10, 2019
But some rightly pointed out it would be hard for airlines and their staff to determine whether an affected laptop's battery had been replaced or not.
If you are a Mac user it's not all bad news — you'll still be able to put your MacBooks in your carry-on luggage.
Virgin Australia have just announced that they're switching on international Wi-Fi from today, which is great news for those of us who thirst for connectivity during overseas flights.