Exploding Laptops Worry Air Regulators

Earlier this morning, we facetiously wrote about the recall of exploding laptop batteries: “It is perhaps not coincidental that this comes at a time when laptops are being increasingly viewed as potential terrorist weapons by the FAA. Dell — the Islamic fascist’s suicide bomb of choice!”

Then, amazingly enough, we headed on over to Consumer Affairs’ site, where they indicate that this might very well be the case:

    The use of laptop computers on airliners may be banned entirely because of a series of incidents involving overheated batteries, including a May 15 incident in which a laptop caught fire in an overhead luggage compartment as a Lufthansa airliner prepared to leave Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Over 60 laptops have exploded or burst into flame on commercial flights sine 1991. That’s not a lot, but it certainly beats the mortality rate of another federal safety bug bear: water.

Our bet? It’ll never happen. Business travelers will raise holy hell, and so will their corporate masters.

Laptop Fires Worry Airline Safety Regulators [Consumer Affairs]


Edit Your Comment

  1. The Bans says:

    Word has it Binladen has ordered 50 laptops and plans to dress up their next terrorist as business men working. Also some porn.

  2. Chris Gibson says:

    The ValuJet crash in Florida was brought about when oxygen containers in the hold of the aircraft burst into flames. Now, I’ll be the first to say that a bunch of oxygen canisters are going to have a whole lot more “oomph” that a laptop battery, but still, you have to wonder what the increased risk is when all of a sudden you have all these laptops being stashed in checked luggage and stored in the hold of the aircraft.

    I can’t imagine the finger-pointing that will start of a Dell Hibachi lights up in the hold and starts a raging fire while an aircraft is 1,000 miles from land over the Atlantic Ocean.

  3. Kangarara says:
  4. Plasmafire says:

    Dell pretty much signed its own death warrant.

  5. mschlock says:

    So do the exploding batteries explode only when the computer is in use, or can they go at any time? Because keeping us from using them isn’t going to help anything if they go boom in the cargo hold.

    And once again, my uninsured laptop is not going anywhere near any baggage handlers. Sigh.

  6. masd says:

    The article Kangarara has posted states that the FAA already prohibits the batteries from being shipped in cargo holds of planes, however, if i understand the article correctly, the restriction seems to be for actual product distrubtion and not individuals lithium-ion powered electronics.

    I wonder about the number of passangers per day, and the ratio of notebooks passengers carry-on with lithium-ion batteries in them which are now being stored in the cargo hold, compared to the actual number of shipped laptop batteries intended to go to distributors that were prohibited from being shipped on airplanes.