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Need to fly with your 15-inch MacBook Pro? Prepare yourself for chaos!

Businessman sitting at airport with open Apple laptop in front of him

After Apple’s recall of some 15-inch MacBook Pros due to battery fire risk, flying with the laptops may prove to create a chaotic experience for travellers.

Apple has said that a limited number of its 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops, sold between September 2015 and February 2017, had batteries that “may overheat and pose a safety risk”. Apple has stated that anyone with a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15in, Mid 2015) laptops should cross-check the serial number of the machine on the Apple recall site and if it is one of those affected, have the battery replaced as soon as possible.

To remind our readers, there is an ongoing FAA ban on airlines carrying any lithium-ion battery that has been recalled by any manufacturer of any piece of consumer electronics.

If your MacBook Pro has had a new battery fitted, then you are cleared for flying! But if you have a recalled MacBook Pro and you have not had your battery replaced, chaos is waiting for you at the airport.


If you can’t show that your battery has been replaced by showing a printout of repair work, there exists the chance that you will not be allowed to bring your MacBook Pro on board. 

And after you show that your battery has been replaced, serial numbers have to be crossed checked with Apple’s recall notice. So think about that. You are in a busy airport. Maybe you are running late or the security line is backed up or your flight is overbooked. Finding the time to cross check serial numbers may not be feasible for the official checking your carry on. So you just may find yourself in the hands of a flight official that simply “won’t let this MacBook Pro on board”.

Our advice? Being as prepared as possible is always best. First off, if you have not replaced your battery, please do so as soon as possible! Apple has asked customers with MacBook Pros purchased between September 2015 and February 2017 to stop using the laptops immediately and have the battery replaced for free, as soon as possible.

If you aren’t sure if your laptop is part of the recall, cross-check the serial number of your laptop with the Apple recall site. The serial number of your laptop can be found by clicking on the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and choosing “About this Mac”.

Once you have had your battery replaced and find yourself in need of travelling via the friendly skies, try to be as prepared as possible with printed proof of your battery replacement. Bring all necessary documentation proving the battery replacement. And reduce your stress and the stress of flight officials by giving yourselves ample time to cross check repairs.

If your MacBook Pro is NOT one of those affected, we would suggest printing out the entire page from the Apple website which displays your serial number and its non-eligibility. Be sure to take it with you, in the event you may be asked for proof.

Screen capture of Apple serial number

Have any questions on battery replacements, serial numbers of flying with your MacBook Pro? Give us a call at 239-394-2141 or email us and we will have one of our Apple-certified or Windows-certified technicians give you a call back!

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