A British travel photographer is currently stuck in Vietnam after airport officials refused to let him board a flight because he was carrying a recalled 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Julian Elliott found out during a security check that his MacBook with Retina display was made between Sept. 2015 and February 2017. Apple recalled these models after reports of overheating batteries and fires that cause burns and property damage.
Aviation regulators in several countries, including the U.S. and Vietnam, banned flyers from boarding with these computers and unless they could prove their machine was serviced.
Elliott told The Independent he had no choice but to stay with his machine because it is critical to his work. Elliott was contracted by a travel agency to photograph the country. During the trip, he and his computer both made it through security for two domestic flights with Vietnam Airlines.
But as he was leaving, authorities checked the serial number of his MacBook Pro.
“At first they said, ‘don’t switch it on during the flight.’ But then security decided to say a flat ‘no’ to me taking it on the aircraft,” Elliott said. “You have to wonder that if an airline deems this so important that it should be communicated to all passengers who have tickets for travel. But at no stage was this done before my journey and twice during my journey my laptop was deemed safe to fly.”
Apple issued the recall on June 20 after it received 26 reports of overheated batteries and users left with minor burns. In 17 of those cases, fire caused minor property damage.
In the United States, the FAA banned travelers from carrying the recalled machines.