> The Transportation Security Administration also has rules on "prohibited items" that pose a security threat. Though they sometimes overlap, the TSA security rules are separate from the FAA dangerous goods safety rules discussed here.
btw; mods, you have no idea how much it bothers me not being able to change plain to plane in my op.
I purchased my MacBook Pro in 2015. A year ago I noticed the top 15% of my trackpad wasn’t clicking. I did a little research and saw that this is sometimes the first symptom of an expanded battery and to bring it in. I finally made an appointment a few months ago and came in to have it investigated further. In the appointment they told me they “disassembled and confirmed everything was functioning properly.” They did a software diagnostic which also confirmed the same. The service person came out and said the very top of the trackpad never clicks and that’s how it was designed. They sent me on my way... a few weeks ago I received an email saying the battery was recalled.
In summary, the “genius” looked at an expanded battery and proceeded to tell me everything is fine. I respect the fact that apple has a presence that allows you to have your devices inspected but it gave me a false sense of security. I had even researched replacing the battery myself up until that appointment
I bought Airpods last year. When they were about 10 months old, it was December in NYC, where I live. It gets a little cold, but not that cold -- freezing point is about the lowest it gets, maybe a few degrees below that at night. When I ran with my Airpods, they started to shut off randomly on colder days (40 Fahrenheit or below) -- clearly a sign of an aging battery not providing enough charge. Particularly since they started working again when I took them back inside.
I brought them into the Apple Store, and the tech tried to convince me that "Bluetooth just doesn't work well in the cold" and that they couldn't do anything about the issue. I had to basically beg the "Genius" to replace them, which promptly fixed my issue.
My iPhone SE would become randomly unresponsive to touches after they replaced the battery. I had to come in 3 times, reinstall iOS without using a backup twice, and beg the Genius (again) to replace my phone because their touchscreen test "didn't see any issues"... because it was a spurious issue that wasn't present all the time. I only got it replaced becaused I lucked out and the issue surfaced when the Genius was trying to start a diagnostic.
They've also tried to sneak their way out of servicing my Macbook Pro for "staingate" (coating wearing off the screen, covered by a 4 year extended policy) because, and I quote, "it isn't that bad."
Apple stores have clearly been prioritizing margins instead of customer experience. Those of us in the know can usually fight our way around these customer hostile policies, but I feel awful for my parents, grandparents, etc. -- they've been bamboozled by Apple into upgrading their phones for issues that should have been covered for free, just because they're trusting of the techs. It's gotten to the point that I don't recommend Apple products to them because the in store experience has gotten so bad.
It wasn't always this way. I remember when the original iPhone first came out that they were much, much, much more lax about replacing things pro bono, both for laptops and for phones. It's only since ~2012 or so that I've noticed service went really downhill, which happens to coincide with some restructuring of the Apple Store.
I miss the old Apple.
I really hope this is BS, but I wouldn't be surprised. Sad the tech couldn't come up with a better excuse than that, are you supposed to really believe that? Bluetooth isn't exactly a new Apple-specific technology, people have had years of experience already with Bluetooth devices.
Source: colleague who was a manager of a Genius team at a big city Apple store.
They are meant to help Apple save face. Put that old school customer service in person touch on things.
It’s not explicitly stated like that in training. They just don’t know, and concoct an answer that the avg customer won’t know is bullshit. It’s how it shakes out given the recipes they’re not allowed to deviate from and the hiring of Apple users, not trained electronics technicians.
The "geniuses" "checked" their system and told me there is no recall and I'll have to pay. I had to physically go on Apples site on my phone, enter my serial number and show them that the recall applies to my machine.
With much sighing they accepted the machine and "made a note" on the service sheet, so the tech's would confirm.
My next personal computer will not be an Apple.
Edit: Can check serial number.
I can almost guarantee the TSA will invest zero dollars or time into deciding which MacBooks are okay. This is Apple's problem to solve. Zero time, money or attention from the TSA or the airlines will be invested. If the FAA bans any Macbooks, all "Apple looking thingies" will be effectively banned.
Source: 3 decades of govt and airline experience.
Advice: Buy a Dell sticker to cover the apple logo on your MacBook. Or some similarly silly thing like an "Apple Store FAA compliant sticker" program. (I'm linking back to this comment later when it happens :)
If the search is only 5% effective then the deterrent needs to be something you wouldn't risk a 5% chance of happening, year in prison, or a fine of 2 times your average annual income seems about right?
how is it apple's problem then? by the way you've described things, it doesn't seem like it's anybody's problem. it could be a marketing problem for apple, but it doesn't seem like they care about those anyway.
Or do you really think this list (https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/...) wasn't influenced by the FAA? Note quotes like "For more information, see FAA regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4)."
Am I missing something? Weren't the 2016 models the ones that changed to USB-C, q flatter keyboard, etc.? Those don't look identical to the 2015 and earlier models
The TSA already requires that laptops and phones must be powered-on on demand to "prove that they're real". That's already a cybersecurity risk.
I'm relieved that the banned laptops doesn't include my 15" mid-2014 MacBook Pro, or my dad's hand-me-down 13" mid-2015 MacBook Pro that he generously gave to me last week after I helped him repair it.
In reality, the X-Ray should already make it pretty clear if there is something weird about the laptop's build. Turning on the machine is entirely unnecessary. Also, I have not been asked to turn on a laptop in many years, so unless this is a new development it is badly out of date.
In my experience there is always a detailed image of the inside of laptops. Color-coded according to material type/density and clearly showing the location of batteries, etc.
The machines are tuned to highlight specific risky materials (such as liquids & gels).
At one point it was common to be asked to turn on laptops etc. But I haven’t seen them do that for years - presumably because the scanners have improved.
Never had any issues with that laptop anywhere else - but they got pretty grumpy at me, and made me power it up to prove that it was a legit laptop.
Flying is not a constitutionally protected activity... see, for example, the legality of un-appealable no-fly lists.
So my guess is that they aren’t supposed to do this, and if a judge ever got the case, the TSA would be in lots of trouble if found doing it.
Checking a number against an API isn't exactly rocket surgery.
Hopefully I don’t have any problems on the way home because I have no idea what I will do.
That's not the right way to look at it. If someone now takes one of these laptops onto a flight and it burns mid-flight that person is now criminally liable. At the very least they will have to pay for the emergency landing etc..
Laptop will explode and burn without caring if their owner knows about it, so I don't know what "fairness" has to do with it here. It's not unreasonable to have a minimum awareness about your own possessions, we don't have to slip into full blown idiocracy.
Yes. Apple sent out notifications to owners of recalled devices. That's why you should register your hardware (trivial in the case of a Mac notebook). In my case I plugged my serial number into the recall site when it was first announced (whilst not logged in to my Apple account) and was told my notebook (a refurb 2015 MBP) wasn't eligible. A couple weeks ago I got an email dictating otherwise.
I've since switched operating systems to Linux and have no intention of getting serviced as there are no authorized service centers in my area unless I get on a plane.
Would I trust anyone else touching my Mac anyway? The answer is no and I plan to buy a Huawei replacement laptop with 5G.
This reads like satire.
Another time I was running late for my flight and forgot to empty my 16oz water bottle. After my bag went through the scanner I realized my mistake and told the TSA agent about it. He uncapped the bottle, swirrled the water around, sniffed it, and then handed me back 16 ounces of water and said not to worry about it.
So yeah, I have minimal expectation TSA will catch this.
Now UK airport security might handle it. I've been specifically asked if my laptop has been damaged, is swelling or has been recently repaired. I assume if you answer yes to any of those questions your device is banned from flying.
I am not sure what changed because I haven't seen this before. Even modern airports like Changi (Singapore) required me to empty my bottle. If anyone knows what changed, always interesting to read!
Source: flew from Schiphol 3 times in the last few months.
If you are on about collecting fingerprints at immigration, the US does that, as do many other countries.
And you're indeed correct. And that must have been chilled for a long time to freeze that quantity. (Edited: thought you said 1.5l of alcohol)
I guess that means they at least looked at the X-Ray; it seems like a lot of the time they don't even bother to do that.
By contrast, when I was trying to board my plane in Tokyo to return to the US, I again forgot to empty my water bottle, and was already through the line. The woman just asked if she could dump it, and she did: they had special containers there for the express purpose of dumping people's disallowed liquids. Of course, American security can't be bothered to implement a common-sense measure like this.
But that one time I had a bottle of diet coke... That's when they get me.
Given the reactions to the Boeing news that I've heard, it would be surprising to me if people would risk jeopardising the safety of a flight to bring a personal item. However, people do remain people and act accordingly.
On top of that, when non-removable batteries fail, they usually take down the whole device with them beyond repair, while a properly placed removable battery at the edge (back) of the device would less likely do damage the device.
Yes, all those issues could be addressed by making Apple laptops thicker and heavier, and there's a large contingent on HN that wants exactly that. But ... there's an even larger contingent outside the techi-verse that loves thin and light laptops.
Dell XPS 13 is both, thinner and lighter than Macbook Air, yet its battery replacement process is rated as "very easy" by ifixit. The same applies to Dell XPS 15 vs Macbook Pro.
The 2018 MacBook Air battery isn't quite so neat and rectangular: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/HvCgVPqVQtVI5K5X.h...
And you can see here how it fits into all of the available space in the computer: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/QUm4KjJyARQaSorr.h...
Switching this computer to using a simple battery like the Dell XPS 13 is using means sacrificing a significant amount of battery capacity.
Also note the 2019 Air they've got has a smaller battery again (49.9Whr).
The battery life gains in Macbook Air might come from the different series of processors used, rather than from the battery itself:
> The MacBook Air has Core i5 and i7 processor options, but they're part of Intel's "Y" series of CPUs, intended for thin laptops. They generate less heat and use less power, so you get longer battery life. The flip side is they're not as fast as a standard laptop with a "U" series processor.
Just looking at the ifixit.com page linked above, the XPS looks very well-designed and easy to work on too, with just 8 screws holding the back panel on, while still being just as thin as a Macbook. It seems like Apple stuff is simply designed specifically to be hard to repair.
And, as this recall was about the MacBook pro, there is much more space for battery placement than in the smaller devices.
Here I just put something rough together to demonstrate that it can be done even with the thin devices if the motivations were in the right place: https://www.ypson.com/hn/battery-thin-device.png
Took me a few minutes, surely this can be done given the budgets and great engineers available in the employ of the major companies.
Take a look at the inside of the current Macbook Pro: https://i.imgur.com/pTZjbuZ.jpg
That's a "battery" that's actually six separate batteries, fit around and underneath the structural components of the touchpad.
Make it a single piece that can be neatly removed like your would-be concept image and you cut battery life in half. Customers would revolt, and far more noticeably than over mere keyboard problems.
Any battery requires a certain amount of puncture resistance. When a battery is embedded into a device and irremovable, the casing of the device itself counts as part of that puncture resistance. If the battery is removable, the battery module itself must be puncture resistant and you're wasting significant internal volume with hard casing around the removable battery module which does not need to exist.
Personally, I am not against thin devices and non removable batteries, it should be done in tandem as the technology will be aligned with this approach without compromising the user experience and ability to replace consumable components.
According to other comments further up the thread this is incorrect, as the XPS has proven it can be both a single battery, with more capacity, and be thinner, even faster.
(Interestingly, this used to be the norm. Back in the day, the smallest thinkpads were also the most expensive. If you cared about money, you'd carry around something much larger and clunkier. It wasn't until the advent of the netbook that "small" also meant "cheap")
If you don't think a laptop being as small and thin as possible is important and worth paying for, then you will be very disappointed with the current crop of macbooks.
(As an aside, I find it kinda weird to see people with these macbooks that are absolutely optimized for portability using them as desktop replacements. Like... maybe part of that was that for a long time apple sold really ancient hardware for their desktops, and maybe these people just really loved OS-X? But... this goes to your point... the fact that so many people use macbooks as desktop replacements does indicate that maybe there's a market for a more desktop-y macbook, maybe one with active cooling and a replaceable battery? But it's also possible that those users are willing to pay a cost in terms of longevity and in terms of expandability in exchange for their desktop replacement simply being more portable for the few times they do actually move it.)
Either way, I like my macbook even though I'd be seriously annoyed if I was limited to that much compute power for my main usage, and I'd go insane if I had to use the keyboard/trackpad for serious work.
But for me? I think the cost is totally reasonable for something I can put in almost any of my bags; something that adds almost no perceptible weight. I had a sony viao P series for a while; it was similar.
I mean, my other personal laptop is a thinkpad X220, which is exactly the sort of thing you would like; it's pretty easy to swap out all the parts, including the battery. It is actively cooled (and aside from the battery and hard drive, the fan seems to be one of the common bits to break.) - it's also not powerful enough for comfortable full-time use, imo, but it stands up well to the mac book in that regard, and it has a keyboard that is almost good enough to use all day. (I mean, I'm not switching it out for my kinesis for serious work, but as far as laptop keyboards go, it's pretty good)
All you’ve done is drawn a few rectangles and added some labels to them. It doesn’t prove anything is possible. It’s not even detailed enough to be concept art let alone a technical design. You could just have easily drawn the same thing with circles and labelled it “worlds first fusion powered laptop” for all the technical merit that diagram had.
If Apple built this machine like how you are saying it would get half the battery life (keep in mind that this is a max performance model with battery life as low as 3 hours when used at max off charger) or would be much heavier and thicker and people. would. not. buy. it. It's a compromise whereas you make the repair (which hopefully should never happen) harder while making the daily use of the laptop entirely different.
Instead of putting in the effort to engineer removable batteries, maybe Apple could instead put in the effort to engineer batteries that don’t blow up.
If I am away from home and on the way back, upon checking in at the airport I am told I cannot bring the laptop, how would you supposed I would handle the situation? Throw it in a trash bin (I don't mind the encrypted data) but is this a solution, instead of simply discarding the battery instead? (in this particular case where there is a recall for a certain laptop).
It does mean that if you bring a laptop for which the recall applies onto a plane, you could be found at fault if it crashes. Assuming you live and they're able to read the serial number from it, anyways. I assume that comes with some sort of financial liability, which at the (iirc) ~$12mil/person cost of life used by the USgov + the cost an entire plane, seems a bit much to risk.
Battery recalls are risk-of-death recalls. Do not put off repairs.
Sure the logistics of enforcing it are difficult, but this does have the effect of telling the public not to do it.
The FAA is an organization I would not like to get on the wrong side of
(To be clear I’m not arguing with the poster I’m directly responding to. Just trying to think through this process like the OP mentioned.)
I had trouble selling them for $10 each.
6 screws (proprietary screwdriver required, $3 AliEbay) and you can swap them out.
What is the actual criterion they used to determine that the device is dangerous? Did they estimate the likelihood of the battery catching fire, or did they just rely on manufacturer information? If it's the former, where can I see the numbers (and compare them with other devices?). If it's the latter, will I be safe forever to bring cheap no-name electronics on planes?
I was under the impression that water was the wrong thing to put on a Li-Ion battery fire. Is that right?
I suspect the rationale is that any potential for exposing new parts of the battery chemistry to water are dwarfed by the effectiveness of stopping the thermal runaway, and battery chemistry that's already reacted can't react again.
> I suspect the rationale is that any potential for exposing new parts of the battery chemistry to water are dwarfed by the effectiveness of stopping the thermal runaway, and battery chemistry that's already reacted can't react again.
Immediately following that clip is an exhibit showcasing the deployment of a Halon extinguisher to extinguish the fire followed by water to cool the battery pack.
Lithium ion batteries have no metallic lithium, which is what can react with water.
is a good way to get serial numbers of all your devices in 1 spot.
If you take an explody battery on a plane and it explodes, the liability is on you.
The TSA might ask you if your laptop has an unsafe battery. That will probably be the extent of the enforcement. Now you know that you could be committing a crime if you haven’t checked it.
> Laptops that have replaced batteries won’t be impacted
Edit: re how to check, in theory you could prove it was fixed by showing the service receipt from Apple. In practice, I have no idea what would happen. But I feel like you'd get through if you showed up with a printed receipt taped to your laptop.
"It's not in the affected serial number range.
Our records show that your device has already been serviced as part of this Program."
But how on earth would the TSA ever know to check or tell the difference, unless they ask you straight up.
I.e same honour-system that works for 99% of bans.
My battery started swelling a couple months before the recall. I was in Brazil at the time so I had to have it replaced by a third-party repair shop.
Where do I find out if my MacBook has been recalled? Is there a tool somewhere for me to check or is it based just on a combination of year and model?
Appreciate the help!
It's not a bomb where any failure to keep it off the planes is catastrophic. They can afford to have some people defying the ban.
How many people are going to actually read these articles to know which models are affected? How many people are going to remember the articles when it's time for them to go to the airport? How many people are simply going to ignore the rule because their MBP is their primary computer and would rather not go without it?
Can they afford to have some people or most people defying the ban? Because as it stands, it's impossible to tell how many people are just going to voluntarily follow a rule with (close to) zero enforcement....unless they actually enforce it
In-flight fires are some of the deadliest issues one mzy encounter. They can indeed be catastrophic.
I guess an issue with a honor based system is although nobody can prove you are guilty, you also can't prove you are innocent if someone wrongly accuses you.
And why have you posted this comment 6 times?
I gave up at this point thanks to an error:
An AJAX HTTP error occurred.
HTTP Result Code: 503
StatusText: Service Unavailable
Carry On Bags: Yes
Checked Bags: Yes
Please remove the laptops from your bag and place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening.
TSA Pre® travelers do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets. Please see TSA Pre® for more information."
The link above goes to a partial list. Click on “A-Z list” on the right side to see everything in one page, and then CTRL+F “faa” and you’ll see 17 matches.
> Finally I searched for “Laptops” which doesn’t mention the FAA at all.
Right, I see the same thing under laptop, but you might take a look at “Power Banks” and “Power Charger” and “Phone Charger” which all mention lithium ion batteries and reference FAA web pages -- however the link seems to be broken.
The provided USB port couldn't charge my larger iPad, so the powerbanks were useful then.
2. That's not a laptop, that's a luggable.