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Virgin tells travellers to remove Apple, Dell laptop batteries

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Virgin Atlantic has become the third airline to restrict the use of Apple and Dell laptop batteries on its flights. Passengers who want to take their Inspirons, Lattitudes, iBooks, PowerBooks, MacBooks or MacBook Pros onto the carrier's planes are asked to remove the battery first.

Like Korean Air, which recently instituted its own battery ban, Virgin Atlantic isn't preventing such notebook owners from operating their laptops, but it is limiting them to seat-side power supplies. Flying coach or economy without an in-seat power supply? Then you can't use your Apple or Dell machine.

Each battery must be kept separate from its host computer, wrapped up and kept in the traveller's carry-on luggage. Passengers may only bring two batteries on board with them, the airline warned.

Virgin said it would lift these restrictions "as soon as this safety issue is resolved". How long that might be is anyone's guess, since it assumes that any given Apple or Dell laptop will have a new, replaced battery.

Apple and Dell both issued battery recalls last month, naming Sony as the supplier of the potentially self-combusting power cells. Sony itself has not recalled Vaio-brand notebook batteries, and Virgin is not restricting the use of Sony's laptops on its flights. ®

Thanks to Reg Hardware readers for the tip.

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