Qantas and Virgin Australia are clamping down on travellers using Apple laptops following a recall of selected MacBook Pro models due to issues which could see the battery overheat and potentially catch fire.
Qantas has declared that while MacBook Pro laptops will be allowed on board for domestic or international flights, they must remain turned off.
"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 spokesperson told Executive Traveller.
Update: as of August 28, Qantas has revised its stance to specify that this applies only to "all 15 inch Apple MacBook Pros", and does not include the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro models.
Virgin Australia's sweep encompasses all MacBook laptops, not just those models hit by Apple's recall notice.
“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," the airline says. “No Apple MacBooks are permitted in checked in baggage until further notice.”
The airlines' decisions follow a 'no-fly ban' imposed on selected MacBook Pro models by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, after Apple issued a worldwide recall on some 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017, admitting that "the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk."
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued a warning about these MacBook Pro models earlier this month, telling airlines in the region to follow 2017 rules that require devices with recalled lithium-ion batteries to be switched off and not used during flights.
Earlier this week, Singapore Airlines asked travellers "to refrain from bringing the affected models either as hand-carry or in checked baggage until the battery has been verified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer."
Travellers can determine if their Apple MacBook Pro is one of the affected models which qualify for a free battery replacement by visiting the Apple website's 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page.