Before You Take Your 15-inch MacBook Pro In The Air

Credit: Apple

Credit: Apple

Back in June 2019, Apple issued a voluntary recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models due to batteries which could potentially overheat and pose a risk to safety. Apple advised owners of potentially affected 15-inch MacBook Pros to stop using them immediately and to visit their 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page for information on product eligibility and how to get their battery replaced for free.

The affected models are identified as the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) which were sold between September 2015 and February 2017. Owners of a 15-inch MacBook Pro can check to see if their MacBook Pro is affected by going into the Apple menu then “About This Mac.” If the MacBook Pro is identified as a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you should go to Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page and enter the MacBook Pro’s serial number to confirm product eligibility and for details on how to get a free battery replacement. The serial number can be found by going to “About This Mac” and/or by checking the underside of the MacBook Pro. Battery replacements are estimated to take around 1-2 weeks.

Recently, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reminded airlines that recalled products are banned from flight regardless of whether they are in carry-on or checked baggage. As such, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) is essentially banned from flight. Other 15-inch MacBook Pros are not affected by the ban.

Of course, this is where things get complicated. So far, no specific information is available on how exactly airlines will screen for these affected 15-inch MacBook Pros and what the potential impact will be to travelers (ex: screening delays). Since the affected 15-inch MacBook Pros will look virtually identical to non-affected 15-inch MacBook Pros, the only option to identify these devices visually will be to either check every serial number against Apple’s recall page or have travelers boot up their 15-inch MacBook Pros so that screeners may review the “About This Mac” window to determine if the MacBook Pro is an affected model.

To further complicate the situation, travelers who have had the battery replaced in their affected 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted to take their MacBook Pros in flight BUT you’re going to have to prove that the battery has been replaced. That means you’ll need to carry and present documentation showing your affected 15-inch MacBook Pro’s battery was properly serviced and replaced. Even so, airlines and screeners will still have overall discretion in determining whether your 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted in the air.

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro, be sure to check and see if your MacBook Pro is part of the recall. Regardless of whether you intend to fly with your 15-inch MacBook Pro, if you own a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you’ll want to get your battery replaced as soon as possible.


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Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB, Space Gray) -

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 512GB, Space Gray) -

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