According to an internal notice from a cargo operator obtained by Bloomberg, four airlines have already explicitly prohibited the affected laptops from being brought onto the carriers' planes as cargo, explicitly listing the "15-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop sold between mid-2015 to February-2017" and it's safe to say that other airlines have issued similar internal polices.
Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement saying that it was "aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops".
How do TSA officers even tell the difference between a MacBook Pro from 2013 and 2015, or 2016 and 2018?
Samsung's cancelled Galaxy Note 7 was similarly banned from United States flights in 2016 after widespread reports of its lithium-ion batteries exploding.
Potential battery fires force Apple to recall 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros Laptops labelled mid-2015 to be sent away for a fortnight. "In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public". At the time, the company noted that these portables could contain a battery that might overheat and pose a "safety risk".
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The reason is that all MacBook Pros 15 since the June 2012 Retina model have looked basically the same until the 2016 Touch Bar model.
Regulators in the European Union have also restricted the recalled MacBooks from use on European flights.
Not all 15-inch MacBook Pros have been affected by the ban.
Given the seriousness of the issue, the FAA tells Bloomberg that it has "alerted major USA airlines about the recall" and told them to follow the 2016 guidelines for products with recalled batteries.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) determined the number of affected units to be about 460,000, of which 26,000 were sold in Canada. The ban relates to a specific model of MacBook due to a battery recall.
According to those guidelines, electronics with recalled batteries should not be allowed on flights as cargo or in carry-on luggage.