Etihad bans MacBook Pro laptops in checked-in baggage

The airline says the laptops can be carried as cabin baggage under certain restrictions

JTD8W8 Etihad airlines Deamliner Boeing 787-9 landing in Zurich airport
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Etihad Airways has banned certain MacBook Pro laptops from checked-in luggage.

The move follows the decision of US airline safety regulators to prohibit some MacBook Pro laptops on flights after Apple recalled some 15-inch models because of a fire risk if batteries overheat.

Etihad said the laptops could be carried as cabin luggage but under some restrictions.

“Following a safety-related recall of some Apple MacBook Pro laptop computers, Etihad Airways has banned the carriage of MacBook Pro computers in checked luggage,” Etihad said on Thursday.

“Guests may still carry MacBook Pro laptops on flights, but only in cabin baggage. The laptops subject to the manufacturer’s recall must remain switched off throughout the flight. Charging of the devices will not be permitted in flight.

“This checked luggage restriction is consistent with the actions of many airlines worldwide.”

The airline said its Etihad Cargo division had banned bulk shipment of these computers.

On Thursday, Emirates said it had no update to issue in relation to the recalled laptops.

Singapore Airlines has also banned some older 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops from flights and asked travellers not to bring the models as cabin or checked-in baggage until the battery was verified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency issued a warning this month asking 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.

The laptops recalled include some models of the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017.

Apple issued the recall in June and said in “limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk”.

It said the battery would be replaced and asked customers to check the serial number.

Four airlines with cargo operations managed by Total Cargo Expertise -TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy and Air Transat - have also banned the laptops from being carried as cargo.

You can find out if your MacBook Pro is affected by the recall by entering your device's serial number on the Apple support site.