Security check: MacBook Pro battery chaos

Don’t bother traveling ever again.


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The Macalope hopes you don’t have any travel plans for the rest of the year because you’re going to need to get to the airport eight days early because of the MacBook Pro.

“Huh?” you say, thinking The Macalope can hear you (he can’t). Let’s take a look.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and Chicken Little School of Aviation Security, Ewan Spence tells us “Apple's Dangerous MacBook Pro Banned From Flying, Get Ready For Airport Chaos.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Alex.)

The MacBook Pro is dangerous. You will face airport chaos.

These fortune cookies are getting weirdly specific.

However, if you are ever in a long security line at the airport or a long traffic line waiting to get to the airport, rest assured it is because someone tried to take a MacBook Pro onboard a flight.

First up, a li-on battery fire in the air is a serious business…

I see these kids experimenting with airborne lithium-ion battery fires… AND I JUST WANNA SHAKE ‘EM!

The awkward twist is that this is not a blanket ban on the MacBook Pro 15 inch models purchased between September 2015 and February 2017…

The fact that it’s a limited number of MacBook Pros from that time period that are affected is not a good thing. Of course not. What are you, new here? No, it’s “awkward” and will cause flights to be stacked up over LaGuardia for hours on end because no one has ever recalled a limited number of laptops for battery failure before. Uh, since March.

But there is another danger here, and it is a danger for Apple.

Apart from catching on fire at 30,000 feet, there’s also the very serious danger of negative PR.

I can’t help but look back at the issues around the Galaxy Note 7.

This is interesting because Spence has previously called out the Galaxy Note 7 disaster as actually being a feather in Samsung’s hat because the company responded quickly to it. Presumably the Galaxy Note 7 incident is a sort of Schrödinger’s cat, being either a disaster or laudable, whichever can best be used as a cudgel against Apple based on current events.

There is, of course, very little comparability between a recall of a limited number of MacBook Pros and that of a flagship smartphone. Anywhere outside the Forbes contributor network and all-clown roadside assistance response team that is.

“If our 30 clowns in a VW Bug don’t get you back on the road within 30 minutes… uh, well, it’s probably because they’re spraying each other in the face with seltzer and hitting each other with pies. That’d probably be why. So, uh, yeah. Anyway, we’ll issue you a full refund, Mrs. Johnson, and we’re terribly sorry.”

Of course this isn’t good news for Apple. No one is suggesting that. But Apple sells a tenth as many Macs as it does iPhones and this is a recall of a limited number of one kind of Mac. It’s a deal, it’s just not a big deal.

…this has the potential to become a serious issue for Tim Cook…

Hashbrown “has Tim Cook landed yet.” He probably never even took off because he couldn’t get through security with his MacBook Pro.

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