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 Also, I have not been asked to turn on a laptop in many years, so unless this is a new development it is badly out of date.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.