Aviation

Virgin Australia bans MacBooks from checked luggage

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Virgin Australia has banned all Apple MacBooks from checked luggage, following a worldwide recall on Pro models over a risk of battery fires.

The airline announced that all MacBook laptops, regardless of model, must be placed in carry-on baggage as a safety precaution.

This comes after Apple issued a voluntary recall on older generation MacBrook Pros in June due to units being at risk of overheating and causing fire.

The airline has issued a notice on its website in the dangerous goods section, which reads:

“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.”

Virgin Australia defines dangerous goods/hazardous materials as “items or substances that may endanger the safety of the aircraft or guests on board”.

Earlier this year, Apple determined a limited number of 15-inch MacBook Pros contain a battery that “may overheat and pose a safety risk”. Effected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and can be identified by their serial number, the manufacturer said in a statement.

“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge,” Apple said.

The tech giant noted that the recall does not affect any other 15-inch MacBook Pro units or other Mac notebooks.

However, Virgin Australia is banning all MacBook models from checked luggage due to the difficulty in determining different models.

“The safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority,” a Virgin spokeswoman told Travel Weekly.

Due to the worldwide recall of some Apple MacBooks, we are requesting all guests take their Apple MacBooks in their carry on luggage as a safety precaution.”

Qantas has also implemented a similar ban, but just for MacBook Pro models as per Apple’s recall.

“Until further notice, all Apple MacBook Pros must be carried in cabin baggage and switched off for flight following a recall notice issued by Apple,” a Qantas Group spokesperson told Travel Weekly.

The move by Virgin Australia comes after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced a similar ban, instead opting to ban specific MacBook Pro laptops in checked or carry-on bags, as reported by USA Today.

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