Airline bans Dell laptops

Pro

28 August 2006

Australian airline Qantas has banned the use of Dell laptops during flights due to risk of fire.

Dell recalled 4.1 million laptop batteries this month after a series of public reports of systems catching fire.

Passengers are allowed to take their laptops on board, but not permitted to run them on batteries, according to a report on website Laptop Logic.

 

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The laptops may only be run when plugged into in seat power available in business and first class seats, once the battery has been removed.

One passenger, Mitch Denny, a technology consultant flying on a Qantas flight from Canberra earlier this week, told Laptop Logic that security staff were removing batteries from all Dell laptops and taping up the contact points.

“They stopped me at the security gate where I was told I couldn’t use my Dell laptop on the plane,” he said

“I told them it wasn’t one of the affected units but they said all Dell batteries had to be taped according to an agreement between Dell and Qantas.”

Dell confirmed that Qantas’ actions were consistent with its advice that customers could use laptops on external power providing the battery was removed.

“The safety of our customers comes first and our direct relationships with customers mean we must always do the right thing for them when it comes to service and product support. We are working closely with Qantas,” a Dell spokesperson told the site.

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