Batteries must be removed from Dell, Apple laptops on Korean Air flights
September 8, 2006
SEOUL — Passengers traveling on Korean Air still are being required to remove the batteries from certain laptops before flying, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The airline put the rule into effect following a massive recall of Dell and Apple laptop computer batteries that began in late August.
The recalled batteries, produced by Sony, can overheat and possibly ignite.
A statement from Korean Air requests that “passengers carrying any kind of Dell laptops (including those unaffected by recall), Apple’s iBook and Powerbook models” remove the batteries before entering the plane’s cabin.
U.S. Forces Korea officials said Wednesday that the military community is being advised about the rule.
Travelers are being warned that batteries must be removed from those laptops and placed in check-in baggage, said USFK spokesman Dave Oten. He said the issue is being addressed through the military chain of command here.
Statements on Apple’s Web site, www.apple.com, said the batteries are being recalled because of a “safety risk that may result in overheating under rare circumstances.”
Apple’s recall deals with batteries sold from October 2003 to August 2006 for the 12-inch iBook, the 12-inch PowerBook G4 and the 15-inch PowerBook G4, according to its Web site. Media reports claim Apple recalled about 1.8 million batteries.
Dell officials placed a similar statement on their Web site, www.dell.com, detailing their recall. According to the statement, batteries with the Dell Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and Dell Precision Mobile Workstation are under recall.
“Under rare conditions, it is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could pose a risk of fire,” Dell stated.
Various media reports state that Dell recalled more than four million batteries.
The Computer Business Review Online, referencing the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, stated that nine known incidents of Apple batteries overheating have caused two injuries and some property damage.
Australia’s Qantas airlines put a similar policy into place in late August, according to news reports.
The Korean Air statement said its policy will be in effect until further notice.