A mid-2012 MacBook Pro and an iPad Air 2

Planes may soon be filled with Windows seats (heh, heh) after more airlines imposed restrictions on MacBook Pros. What are some solutions for those who are devoted to an Apple a day? And does this make PC users giggle in delight?

The Boot-Up

Here’s a little background before we get into the core of Apple’s issues. (A couple of real nerdy puns there for fellow tech geeks.)

In June, Apple announced a recall on 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017. It seems the batteries got a little overheated and presented a safety risk. Lovely.

The Cupertino-based tech giant announced a complimentary battery replacement program for the Macs in question.

Earlier this month, the FAA barred passengers from bringing the affected Mid 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch laptops onboard flights. Cargo companies put the kibosh on transporting the machines.

Are All 15-Inch MacBook Pros “Banned”?!

Qantas told passengers that they must now carry on their 15-inch MacBook Pros — regardless of their make, year, and model.

Virgin Australia took it a step further — and forbids passengers from storing any MacBook Pros in checked luggage. Any and all Mac laptops must be brought in carry-on luggage.

Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have “told passengers to refrain from bringing the 15-inch model either in hand-carry bags or checked in baggage.”

United simply asks passengers with offending MBPs to “power them down before carrying them on board, and they must remain off and unplugged throughout the entirety of the flight.”

It doesn’t look like all MacBook Pros are banned, per se, from flights. (Tom’s Guide — which I generally trust and enjoy — said “Virgin Australia has taken an even more extreme path, banning every single MacBook — Pro, Airs, anything — regardless of screen size, starting on August 26.” No. They’re still allowed.)

As someone who uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2012 model still works great — albeit with a few modifications) every day to write and photo edit, these headlines certainly grabbed my attention.

Backup for Minute. People Check Laptops?

Did you read some of those stories above and, like me, think, Wait a minute. People are allowed to check laptops? And who would do such a thing?! 

First, it seems the FAA doesn’t prohibit laptops in general from checked bags. I believe that’s up to airline discretion as to what is and isn’t allowed in checked baggage. (I’m sure someone will let me know in the Comments if that’s incorrect.)

Maybe this is just me — but checking a laptop, well, doesn’t compute.

I never check it as luggage — even gate-checked when riding a CRJ-200. I’m too afraid it will break, be stolen, or get lost.

Despite having cloud and physical redundancies in place should something happy to my precious baby (my MacBook Pro! 😉 ) I’d be a mess.

Solutions for MacBook Pro Users?

Because my MacBook Pro is heavier than a Cadillac, I’ve stuck to my iPad Air 2 for a few shorter trips and, frankly, would have to make due with that (#FirstWorldProblems) if I owned a banned MacBook Pro. (And gosh knows buying a new one can get rather spendy.) The battery life is great, screen is amazing, and there’s ton of space. I have a Cooper Cases Bluetooth keyboard case (this one works fine with my iPad). That makes typing much simpler than tapping the screen. But photo editing is still far superior on a laptop.

Is the MacBook Pro hysteria going to make me consider going back to Windows?

Not a chance. 🙂

René and I josh each other about our respective technology preferences. He personally likes HP laptops and rocks the LG V20 because of their removable batteries.

Maybe he’s on to something with those removable batteries…

Do You Have an Affected MacBook Pro? Do You Check Your Laptop?

If you have one of the affected MBPs, have you gotten it repaired yet? If not, are you worried you won’t be able to travel with it?

And am I the only one nervous about checking laptops?

Tell us in the Comments section!

–Chris

UPDATE: August 30, 3:15 PM PDT

Posts were a little behind today because my Apple WiFi network died just before lunchtime. René loved the opportunity to remind me I was using Apple gear.

I went to Costco and bought Google WiFi. It’s absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it.

And it works great with my MacBook Pro 😉

–C

4 Comments

  1. I think you mean sold between “September 2015 and February 2017”.

  2. I frequently check my laptop. It weighs a ton, but I need it for work when I arrive. Data is backed up and I just risk theft. (I wrap it very carefully in clothing, so I’m not really concerned about breakage. Plus I’ve probably taken it on about 100 legs by now with no problems.)

  3. Hi @Chris – I carry two 2015 15″ MBPs when I travel – one work, one personal and I’m flying A LOT this year. I must admit it’s annoying to pull them out in Europe where I can’t leverage the TSA Pre.

    I just looked them up, and both are subject to the recall. I had already replaced my personal battery with one from OWC that supposedly has better battery life – my work notebook has amazing battery life (identical hardware in every way but better than the personal).

    Thanks for the post!

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