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Virgin Australia bans all MacBooks from checked luggage over battery concerns

What you need to know

  • Virgin Australia has banned the checking of all Apple MacBook computers.
  • You can still take your MacBook as carry-on luggage.
  • The policy will remain in place until "further notice".

Virgin Australia has banned all Apple MacBook computers from checked luggage on its flights. The news comes after Mac Prices spotted that the airline updated its policy (opens in new tab) to state that MacBooks must be placed in carry-on baggage.

The policy change follows Apple's decision to initiate a voluntary recall of some 15-inch MacBook Pro models over battery concerns.

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 Federal Aviation Administration has already informed airlines in the United States that they should not allow the affected MacBook Pro machines on board. The move is one that is normal procedure for any device that has been recalled following battery issues and is not specific to this instance.

The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops. In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public. We issued reminders to continue to follow instructions about recalls outlined in the 2016 FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 16011, and provided information provided to the public on FAA's Packsafe website: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/

The stance by Virgin Australia is, however, more restrictive with all Apple MacBooks involved. It's likely the decision was taken because distinguishing recalled notebooks from any other can be difficult if you don't know exactly what to look for.

At least fliers can take them in their carry-on luggage, though. That's also how most people are likely to travel with their computer.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • This is all pretty embarrassing. Apple needs to work harder to make sure all affected 15-inch MacBook Pros in active use are recalled, and disclose how many aren't serviced yet. For instance, Apple can use software update to notify the recall. And perhaps offer a loaner for those that cannot be without a Mac while it is being serviced.