I read about the recent MacBook Pro 15 inch travel ban. I have a 13-inch model, so I'm safe. I checked the serial number and my computer was bought in November 2017 which is outside of the affected date range:

Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program

I'm wondering if it's safe to fly with this model. I'm not sure how thoroughly my laptop is checked. It's a different size, just out of the date range, but I'm a bit worried that the TSA (or its German version) will deny me from onboarding with my computer because they just see it's a similar model and don't want to be bothered (or they are instructed to reject all Apple computers).

Do they know that my computer should be safe as it's a different size or should I leave my computer home because they just ban any computer that "looks like the banned computer".

I'm flying from Europe to the US for the holidays. During my holidays, I'd like to learn and practice video editing and maybe coding, so I'd like to bring my laptop with me. We fly United.

I feel a bit overly cautious while I type this question, but to be honest, it's an expensive computer and I don't know what would happen if they banned my computer from flight... (Can I just send the computer home or they'd just make me choose between my computer or the flight, as they do with scissors?)

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    Related: macrumors.com/2019/08/29/macbook-pro-some-airline-restrictions Apparently the worst that could happen is that your computer is banned from checked luggage (which you probably wouldn’t do anyway) and that you may not be allowed to switch it on during the flight, if the airline has a blanket rule for all MacBook Pro’s as some seem to have. Note that this will be enforced by the airline (don’t ask how...), not by TSA/airport security.
    – jcaron
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 20:26
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    You definitely shouldn't check anything at all with lithium batteries anyway, as it could cause a fire. And a notebook computer stands a high chance of being stolen or smashed. Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 20:34
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    My friend has recently flown to the US for work with their 13inch Mac, they had it in their hand luggage and it was never asked about or referred to beyond the usual 'laptops and tablets out of the bag' to go through security screening, but this was from the UK so I can't speak for Germany. (I believe he flew British Airways)
    – Uciebila
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 9:12
  • I wonder how airlines could possibly enforce this without cooperation from airport security...
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 0:45
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    @jwenting Ideally, perhaps. The most I’ve checked is about $50k worth of test equipment. I hand carried the expensive/irreplaceable bits. But losing expensive stuff won’t take down an aircraft, flaming Li cells might. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


No, it's not banned right now. Only some 15" models are.

As you laptop is not a banned model then you can bring it. If a security officer would question it then you can just point out that the screen size is 13" so it's safe.

Please carry it in your carry-on anyway because it could still cause fire.

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    the chance of it being stolen by cargo handlers or airport security is way higher than the chance of it catching fire btw...
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 3:43

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