Virgin Atlantic has imposed restrictions on the use of Dell and Apple Computer laptops and their notorious batteries.
Dell and Apple notebooks, according to a posted statement on Virgin Atlantic's site, may only be carried on Virgin Atlantic flights if the battery has been removed and stored in carry-on luggage. Users lucky enough to sit in seats with power supplies may use the laptops via that external source, and Virgin will even provide plug adapters for them. Otherwise, the use of Dell and Apple laptops is prohibited.
Passengers are restricted to carrying on two batteries.
"Any removed or spare batteries must be individually wrapped/protected and placed in your carry on baggage," said the statement on Virgin's site.
Virgin Atlantic was not immediately available for comment on what exactly the proper wrapping of a laptop battery entails. (Saran wrap? An old shirt?) The company did note in its announcement, however, that it is in talks with both Apple and Dell, and will lift the ban once the battery situation is resolved.
Virgin Atlantic is the third airline to impose restrictions on Dell and Apple laptops. Since the battery recalls, both Qantas and Korean Air have issued varied levels of prohibition.
The odd thing about all of these restrictions, as CNET News.com has mentioned before, is that they are inconsistent. The policies blankets all Dell and Apple laptops, while only certain models actually contain recalled batteries. Yet there no mention of removing the batteries from laptops being put in checked-in luggage? Even taking into consideration smoke detectors and temperature, this seems like an odd oversight. A turned off laptop with one of these bad batteries might just as easily ignite in the cargo hold as in the cabin.