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Virgin Australia just banned all MacBooks from its cargo holds over battery fire fears

Virgin Australia just banned all MacBooks from its cargo holds over battery fire fears
[Photo: courtesy of Virgin Australia]

Earlier this summer Apple issued a battery recall for select MacBook Pros. Due to a flaw with certain MacBook Pro units sold between September 2015 and February 2017, the batteries in those units are at risk of exploding and catching fire. Shortly after Apple’s recall was announced, the FAA announced a ban on the MacBook Pro models affected. Affected models could not be brought on flights no matter if in carry-on or checked baggage until the batteries were replaced (here’s how to find out if your MacBook Pro is affected).

But now Virgin Australia has one-upped the FAA and announced that it is banning all MacBooks—no matter what the model—from checked baggage. Virgin Australia announced the move on its Dangerous Goods page:

Important information for passengers traveling with Apple MacBooks: Due to a worldwide recall by Apple of a number of Apple MacBook batteries, ALL Apple MacBooks must be placed in carry-on baggage only. No Apple MacBooks are permitted in checked in baggage until further notice.

The good news is MacBook owners can still take their MacBooks on Virgin Australia flights—they just have to do so in carry-on luggage. The rationale for banning MacBooks from checked baggage but allowing them in carry-on baggage seems to be that if a battery explodes in carry-on baggage it has a much better chance of being noticed in time before serious damage occurs to the plane. If a battery explodes in the cargo hold, however, the fire may not be noticed until it’s too late.

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