How to tell if the FAA has banned your defective MacBook Pro from flying

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If you have a 15-inch MacBook Pro sold between September 2015 and February 2017, it may have a defective battery that poses a fire hazard. That risk prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to announce a ban today on about 460,000 models from both carry on and checked baggage. It follows a ban by its counterpart, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, announced on August 1.

Is your laptop one of the verboten units? If so, you need to get it fixed–for free–not only to keep your travel plans but because it could present a hazard to your home, office, or car. Recalled laptops that have been repaired will be allowed on flights.

Here’s how to find out if your 15″ MacBook Pro is subject to the recall:

  • First, click the Apple icon in the upper left of your screen and select “About This Mac” from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Overview portion of the popup that appears, look for the description “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” or something similar.
  • If you see that, select and copy the laptop’s serial number, which appears in the same popup window.
  • Then visit Apple’s support page and paste the serial number into the field under the “Eligibility” section.
  • If you get a match, follow the instructions lower down on the page to find the nearest Apple Store or authorized repair shop, or arrange to mail your laptop to Apple, for the battery replacement.
  • Hold onto any receipt or other documentation of the repair in the event you need to prove to airport officials that your MacBook is no longer a risk.

Have a safe flight!

My 13-inch model isn’t affected.

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