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Some airlines are banning Apple’s MacBook Pros even if they weren’t recalled

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An overabundance of caution

MacBook Pro with Retina Display 2012 stock

In June, Apple recalled the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, sold between September 2015 and February 2017, because the battery “may pose a fire safety risk,” and the FAA soon reminded airlines not to carry those laptops with defective batteries on board. But some airlines are now banning Apple laptops whether they’ve got a bad battery or not, as reported by Bloomberg.

Virgin Australia isn’t taking any chances: it’s banning every single MacBook from being carried in checked baggage. In a notice on its “Dangerous Goods” page, the company doesn’t differentiate by shape, screen size, or the year it was made: all “Apple MacBooks” can only be brought onto planes in carry-on baggage.

That may sound extreme, as the large majority of Apple laptops have not been recalled. The policy does make it sound like you can still use your laptops once on the flight, though.

But if you’re flying Qantas Airways with a 15-inch MacBook Pro, that last part may not be true. Not only is the carrier banning every single 15-inch MacBook Pro from checked baggage, it won’t let you use them in flight.

“Until further notice, 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 Qantas spokesperson told ZDNet.

While it’s understandable that Quantas might not be able to easily tell whether a 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro has one of the recalled batteries or not — that’d require looking up a serial number online — it’d be nice if they exempted the 2016-and-later MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which has several pretty easily distinguishable visual characteristics and hasn’t had a battery recall that we know of.

If you have an affected 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple says it will replace your battery for free, but you’ll have to send your laptop to an Apple repair center. You can check if your unit is eligible for a replacement here.