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Virgin Atlantic Bans Dell, Apple Laptops

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the security-theater-starring-batteries dept.

205

TechFreep writes, "Amid a slew of incidents involving exploding Sony batteries, Virgin Atlantic announced that it won't allow passengers to use batteries in any Apple or Dell laptops on flights. The announcement, posted on Virgin's website, said that passengers may carry on the laptop itself, but batteries must be properly wrapped and stowed away in carry-on for the duration of the flight. However, the airline provided no details as to what proper wrapping entails. For those who wish to use a laptop while on the plane, Virgin plans to provide power adapters on flights where outlets are available." Will Virgin allow on board exploding Sony batteries in IBM ThinkPads?

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205 comments

Seat power outlets (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122161)

Virgin plans to provide power adapters on flights where outlets are available."

Well, this is the problem with most flights, particularly those that last longer than 3 or 4 hours. Specifically, there are simply not enough power outlets in the seats. So, if the airlines want to ban laptop batteries, and they want to maintain business, how about installing more power outlets? Its sad, but a classic case of airline security taking care of the problem after the problem has been identified and dealt with rather than being proactive in their plans. What this sort of behavior is doing, along with all of the other lame security procedures like taking off belts, shoes and sandals is simply making airline travel more onerous.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have to try and work on a flight after security delays of sometimes hours have meant getting on board with a laptop battery that is drained only to find out there is no power port on board the flight. Even worse, on several Delta flights where they were *supposed* to have power outlets in the seats, they have been non-functional.

Re:Seat power outlets (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122285)

"getting on board with a laptop battery that is drained"

Easily solved. I carry a spare,charged battery. While waiting in terminals, I plug in my wall wart and run from that while keeping my Thinkpad charged, minimizing battery use.

Re:Seat power outlets (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122306)

Sure, I carry a couple of batteries, but that only buys you 3-4 hours. What if the flight is an international flight?

Re:Seat power outlets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122350)

Sure, I carry a couple of batteries, but that only buys you 3-4 hours. What if the flight is an international flight?
Get a more efficent laptop for traveling, sleep, or just watch the inflight movies. I never carry a Computer during my International Summer Travels (I stay more than 30days) and I survive.

Re:Seat power outlets (0, Troll)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122539)

Now you're just begging for somebody to brag about their laptop... I flew all the way from New Mexico to Taiwan on battery power with my T40 Thinkpad. Three 9 cell batteries, and each battery lasts for 5 hours. I gotta have my fix :)

Re:Seat power outlets (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122586)

Get a better laptop. With the additional 12-cell battery plus the internal 6-cell, my laptop has an estimated battery life of 16 hours (6 on the internal, 10 on the additional). That'd probably work out to 10 hours or so while playing a movie.

Put this in the window (3, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122618)

At that height I bet the efficiency on a solar charger [amazon.com] would be enough to charge a spare battery, you can also ask the airline if you can mount it on the outside of the plane like the RVers do. I'm sure pilots from the south will understand.

Re:Seat power outlets (2, Interesting)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122305)

Um... If there are power outlets, just bring along a surge protector and guess what, now you can share! I don't know how much power each outlet can output, but I'm more than certain it can do more than 1 laptop per outlet.

Re:Seat power outlets (2, Informative)

GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122368)

I don't know how much power each outlet can output, but I'm more than certain it can do more than 1 laptop per outlet.

Don't count on that. The last one I used (on a new Air Canada Embraer 190) had only enough power available to charge the battery *or* run the laptop (a Dell D610).

Until the battery was fully charged, I had to leave the laptop turned off or else the breaker would trip every 2 minutes.

Re:Seat power outlets (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122481)

You would be mistaken about that certainty. First off, it's not a 120V three prong plug like you're used to using at home, but rather, a car lighter type socket.

Technically you could go to AC, split it, and have two or more people connect into a power strip, but there are some serious amperage limits, which will be made worse by the loss of going from DC to AC and back to DC again -- If you have a bit of a power hungry notebook to begin with, you'll often need to remove the battery as the socket may not be able to both run your computer and charge the battery at the same time.

Re:Seat power outlets (1)

GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122519)

Not all planes use 12V sockets. The Embraer supplies 120VAC in a "universal" socket configuration. You can plug US style 2 or 3 prong plugs in, as well as European 2 prong ones, and probably others.

Outrageous. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122163)

Dell I can understand. However there have been no reported cases of Apple laptops causing any risk to an airplane. I hereby announce a boycott of Virgin Atlantic air lines until this idiotic policy is reversed and Virgin gets back on the cluetrain.

If action is not taken within 24 hours I may have to start an Internet petition to augment my activist efforts here so described.

Re:Outrageous. (4, Insightful)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122187)

There are no cases of Dell laptops causing risks to airplanes either, are there? Both varieties of laptops have certain models which use exploding Sony batteries, which is the heart of the issue. Why are the Apple laptops different in this circumstance? Or are you just on the Dell-bashing and/or Apple-loving bandwagon(s)?

Re:Outrageous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122587)

Yeah, there's no reason to ban every single one. My laptop right now is a Dell Latitude CP, made around 1998, and I have yet for the batteries to explode (or anything else unusual to happen, which is especially interesting seeing as it's missing a panel on the bottom, I've dropped it several times, and not to mention who knows what kind of abuse it went through before my aunt gave it to me!) Seems almost like racism really, or maybe we should say "brandism" or something equally cheesy?

Dear Apple fanatic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122212)

You suck so much, please accept my cock in your mouth.

OF ALL THE COMPUTER HARDWARE MANUFACTURERS APPLE HAS THE MOST ISSUES.

Apple laptops are so dangerous they shouldn't be allowed in a 100 yards radius from any gas station.

Re:Dear Apple fanatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122222)

I've never had a problem with my MacBook Pro. I've read of literally thousands of men with Dell laptops having problems. Frankly, I'd be happier if Dell laptops were just banned everywhere I go. My coffee shop, for example, does not permit Dells to be used unless their batteries are removed and placed behind the counter.

Re:Dear Apple fanatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122238)

Okay, now you're just loosing steam. Don't make me send you to Troll Boot Camp.

OH GOD NO (4, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122214)

Not an Internet Petition!! I mean, sure, they're terribly evil people, but let's not get crazy and do things we'll regret down the line. I'm sure there's less extreme ways to get your point across.

Re:Outrageous. (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122273)

On top of that, what's the risk? How many have exploded? Something like one in a million? And how bad are the explosions?

Something tells me it's a lot riskier to let pilots fly without a blood test.

Re:Outrageous. (2, Insightful)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122487)

How often do you fly on Virgin? Do you have any status there (awarded due to mileage?) If not, do you think they'll care?

As far as the internet petition, those tend to be worth the paper they're printed on, so I'm sure the airline will care there too.

Re:Outrageous. (1)

m85476585 (884822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122504)

That's because on airplanes people use laptops on their laps (I haven't seen a tray table that doesn't force you to tilt the screen at an unconfortable angle (except in busines class)), so they notice the heat (hopefully) before their battery catches on fire, and shut it down.

Wow great (1)

Alb_Be (972418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122171)

Is this a real security issue or does Virgin just want to ruin the other companys' images?

It IS a real fire hazard (2, Insightful)

Secrity (742221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122405)

It is not really a security issue but it is a real fire hazard problem. Dell batteries have a documented history (some with pictures or videos) of bursting into flames, and I would not want to be on an airplane at 40,000 feet when somebody's Dell bursts into flame. I know that the recall is only for certain models but it would be too onerous for the flightcrew to sort out which Dells or Apples could become airborn flambeaus.

http://wcco.com/consumer/local_story_148150249.htm l [wcco.com]
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops/dell-laptop -explodes-in-flames-182257.php [gizmodo.com]
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/08/dell _fire.html [consumeraffairs.com]

Will they work without the battery? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122176)

I know my ancient sony will not work without the battery inserted. And I cant even figure out how to get the battery out of my brothers new HP.

Re:Will they work without the battery? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122193)

Ah never mind the comment abou tthe HP, just found the release button. An it does work without the battery. Is my sony one of the few that cannot run without the battery?

Re:Will they work without the battery? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122288)

I would think so. Even my ancient 1996ish P266 Compaq laptop works without a battery when connected to the power.

Re:Will they work without the battery? (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122307)

Yeah, i had an HP OmniBook 800 p133 and never once owned a battery for it. Always worked on AC.

Re:Will they work without the battery? (1)

TheRealStyro (233246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122596)

I have an old NEC Versa 4080H laptop that is so old that Windows 98 barely runs with any speed. The thing has a completely dead battery but will only run on AC adapter. The thing is that the battery must be installed for the laptop to run. Strange design, but I don't really use it very much.

I hope that laptop manufacturers have designed current models to be able to run using either battery or adapter power. I would hate to have to get an airline to give me and AC outlet capable of doing 120 watts so my current HP laptop would run (default battery life is about 90 minutes w/o CD/DVD activity, min HD activity and a very dimmed display).

translation (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122181)

However, the airline provided no details as to what proper wrapping entails

Place the battery into a lead lined steel surrounded lockable box and ensure all regulation markings are placed upon the exterior (radiation warning labels).

I have heard of other airlines doing this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122192)

I have heard of other airlines doing this and would love to take the chance to educate the flight attendent on how my battery is not going to explode anytime soon, so I'll have my laptop on, thankyouverymuch.

Regardless of a number of equally stupid rules on air travel these days, I don't think this is likely to last very long, lawsuits incoming.

Re:I have heard of other airlines doing this.. (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122338)

Regardless of a number of equally stupid rules on air travel these days, I don't think this is likely to last very long, lawsuits incoming.

Better than lawsuits, people will not fly.

Me, I have had it being stranded in airports because some ditz didn't schedule a plane on time with a connecting flight. I will not forget the time I entered a plane in Chicago for Milwaukee and 5 minutes after the last bus went to Milwaukee they let us off the plane when they didn't have a pilot.

I would rather drive down the highway with the CD cranked right up, the PC in the back and take a rest on my schedule not theirs.

Makes me wonder if Pam Anderson has to check in her breasts as potentially dangerous chemicals. Seriously, terrorists will send in kids to blow up, why not a well endowed Muslim lady?

I look at it this way, sooner or later the people are going to get tired of being treated worse than their broken baggage. I only use planes when I have to for business.

Re:I have heard of other airlines doing this.. (1)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122388)

I have taken this stance, and I *nearly* got the privledge to drive to my assignment to work... paid milage and all, but my boss wanted me there NOW, not in a day. Seriously though, my personal cash is NEVER going into the hands of the airlines ever again.

Company is expensing everything, and if anything vital is broken on the trip - company is paying for it.

Uninformed management (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122197)

This is worse. The batteries do not have to be in the computer to have this issue. It is better to have them in the plane where people are, so the possible fire could be put out. If a battery explodes in the cargo area where nobody is there to put it out, the outcome could be far more tragic! They should have done their research prior to mandating this change...

(Unless their "proper packaging" includes automatic sprinkler systems)

Re:Uninformed management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122330)

They said "stowed away in carry-on" and not check-in baggage which goes in cargo.

Re:Uninformed management (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122462)

Unless you're on some of the short-haul jets (I don't think Virgin Airlines has any) -- its not uncommon for your carry-on baggage to be taken away at the gate and stuffed in the cargo hold and returned to you at the gate when you land.

Re:Uninformed management (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122541)

I'll admit that I don't fly regularly, but that's never happened to me, and furthermore it seems to defeat the purpose and definition of "carry-on" luggage.

Re:Uninformed management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122659)

Note this is generally done on those small jets or turboprop planes carrying about >60 people

Generally they steal the "carry-on" luggage for those idiots who carry full blown luggage on board and think it will fit on overhead compartment. I just want to scream at people, check that crap esp when they know they will be flying in small jets.

Re:Uninformed management (1)

Goldfinger7400 (630228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122479)

Can't wait for batteries stowed in the overhead bin that has the oxygen tanks to catch fire... >:)

Re:Uninformed management (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122615)

There are no oxygen tanks in the overhead bins, except for a handful of emergency air tanks used by flight attendants and perhaps oxygen in an emergency medical kit.

The oxygen masks intended for emergency use by passengers are supplied by oxygen generators, which use a chemical reaction to generate oxygen. They get quite hot and will ignite anything combustible that comes in contact with the generator. Combine that with the additional oxygen, and you have a potential problem. For that reason, they are considered hazardous and are prohibited from being shipped in the cargo holds of airplanes.

Oxygen generators contributed to an in-flight fire in the hold of a ValuJet plane a number of years ago. All passengers and crew perished in the subsequent crash.

Re:Uninformed management (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122433)

I would imagine that jets are equipped with some sort of fire surpression system in the hold.

Maybe another s/.er can confirm.

Re:Uninformed management (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122637)

I would imagine that jets are equipped with some sort of fire surpression system in the hold.

US airlines moved quickly to install fire suppression systems in their cargo hold after the ValuJet plane crash in 1996. Some airlines didn't even wait for the FAA to require it.

Shouldn't be a problem for apples (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122208)

Amid a slew of incidents involving exploding Sony batteries, Virgin Atlantic announced that it won't allow passengers to use batteries in any Apple or Dell laptops on flights.

That shouldn't be a problem for people with Apple machines. I hear those are capable of running solely on one's own sense of self-superiority.

Re:Shouldn't be a problem for apples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122342)

Oh that's a good one. I have a mac user in one of my classes and your theory helps explain the remarkable battery life.

Some linux fans really like tux. Here's a penguin joke:

A vacationing penguin is driving through Arizona, when he notices that the oil-pressure light is on. He gets out to look, and sees oil dripping out of the motor. He drives to the nearest town and stops at the first gas station.

After dropping the car off, the penguin goes for a walk around town. He sees an ice cream shop, and being a penguin in Arizona, decides that something cold would really hit the spot. He gets a big bowl of vanilla ice cream and sits down to eat. Having no hands, he makes a real mess trying to eat with his little flippers.

After finishing his ice cream, he goes back to the gas station and asks the mechanic if he's found the problem.

The mechanic looks up and says, "It looks like you blew a seal."

"No, no," the penguin replies, "it's just vanilla ice cream."

WTF, someone can't cause other laptops batteries.. (0)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122213)

to explode or burn in cascade? Ya, some Sony batteries might catch fire but NOBODY would EVER think of causing any other laptop battery to cascade. These 'experts' have no clue IMO and just wait til they find some attempt or information on an attempt. THEN they go and collect every instance of the offending material from passengers while they take a few months to figure out things like fingernail clippers are NOT a threat.

Virgin should ban all laptop size batteries or any LiIon battery which is large enough to be uncontrollable in failure in the cabin or in cargo. IMO.

LoB

Re:WTF, someone can't cause other laptops batterie (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122438)

I agree with the most part, but I had a similar rant about fingernail clippers once and kinda changed my mind. I was talking to a buddy of mine's dad...who is a rather large guy with combat experience... I said something about how stupid the fingernail clipper ban was and he looked at me and just said "Would you want me to have a pair of finger nail clippers when I attack you?" I sat and thought about it and all the soft parts of my face suddenly became very sensitive... So while I think the ban is still pretty stupid, he really did put the every item is a potentially lethal weapon argument into nice perspective. The only real solution is to fly naked with no carry ons which is just the epitome of stupid overreaction, but still....every day items can be very lethal.

Re:WTF, someone can't cause other laptops batterie (1)

tapin (157076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122549)

Give me a break. They're not making you fly naked; nail clippers are less dangerous than, say, ballpoint pens.

Next time your buddy's dad asks you such a dumb question, ask him if he'd be willing to attack 150 people simultaneously with a pair of nail clippers.

Re:WTF, someone can't cause other laptops batterie (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122590)

I didn't say I agree with the bans, and the flying naked thing was sort of sarcastic but you apparently missed that. So...next time you have such a dumb response ask yourself if the last set of attackers attacked 150 people simultaneously with a knife/box cutter. You have however demonstrated the big picture thinking that can only be achieved by those not in the situation...humans are expendable, if you have 150 vs 1 you can obviously win even if you end with 148 and 3 dead. I wonder if it would be so clear cut if you had to be the first 1 or 2 to try to stop the guy and were likely to become seriously injured or dead.

The point I was making is that "nail clippers are not a threat" is simply not true, that almost any every day item can be a deadly weapon, and the only viable solution would be to fly naked, which would be stupid overreaction, and that life inherrently involves some risk.

Powerbook terrorist (1)

viking2000 (954894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122215)

I am sure a fire in the luggage section of the plane is so much easier to control than a fire in the cabin.

Or is this rule to prevent someone from using the battery as a weapon? Powerbook terrorist: "Turn this plane around, or this battery will certainly explode"

Why not ban *all* batteries? (4, Interesting)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122234)

Why discriminate by brand and/or type of hardware being used? Any battery can be rigged to explode into flame simply by creating a short circuit. I learned this the hard way several years ago after sticking a coin into a AA battery port on one of those electronic kits. The coin super heated and starting making small flames near the batteries as the current flowed directly from the batteries and back without a load.

Re:Why not ban *all* batteries? (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122300)

I highly doubt your coin superheated. The chances that a pool of 5300F melted coin just made small flames seem vanishingly small...

Pants on Fire (2, Interesting)

cyberformer (257332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122417)

I used to keep spare AA batteries in my pockets, alongside coins and keys. I learned a very painful lesson not to do that anymore.

Re:Why not ban *all* batteries? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122557)

Obviously it's not about terrorism as you assumed. Somebody saw that flaming battery picture on the Internet, and thought that would be bad to have on a plane. But effective terrorist weapon? Hardly.

Re:Why not ban *all* batteries? (2, Interesting)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122568)

Actually, pretty much any lithium-ion battery is extremely dangerious and flammable under the right conditions. The only thing preventing most batteries from bursting into flames is a tiny IC that controls the charge/discharge current of the battery. I've seen a video where your standard lithium-ion battery is punctured and the battery instantly starts bursting into flames. A reaction with atmosphere is all that is needed.

Lead acid batteries on the other hand are even more dangerous, luckily, these are already banned, but I wouldn't be surprised if screeners missed them since they are too busy looking for bottles of water in your baggage.

Re:Why not ban *all* batteries? (3, Interesting)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122742)

In 2002 I went to a conference in San José California. It was a technology conference for young engeering students and had CEO's of many large companies (such as Intel) making speeches. We also toured Silicon Valley, got a chance to visit Apple, Cisco, etc. inside the buildings and we toured all the nearby Universities in the Bay Area, including Berkeley, UCSC, etc.


I had a special item wish me- an ultra powerful rechargable battery-powered flashlight. I had not perfected the design (I had not even tried to design a case) and I ended up using high capacity handset batteries from Radio Shack to power the thing. All in all, there were about 51,000mWH of power strapped to what was little more than a assembly to hold the lights and a separate double-sided copper pcb that all the anode and cathode terminals were connected to.

The thing worked great, it was incredibly bright (it used three high luminosity light bulbs), it just looked like a bomb. I mean, the little battery cells looked like mini sticks of dynamite ready to explode at any time.

Only problem was I did not consider airport baggage handlers in my design. They ended up cutting the sheathing of one of the positive wires with the copper clad PCB. Of course, it had to be in the negative terminal, which burned a huge hole in my polyester bag, burned through two pairs of shorts, and melted a toothpaste tube, all tucked away inside the cargo cabin of the plane.

I was not pleased to find out that my great invention had been so easily destroyed (for heaven's sake it was the ultimate rechargeable flashlight!). My uncle found out about the incident and gave me a fire extinguisher rated for electric fires for Christmas. T.t (crying face)

Looking back, how the hell did they even allow that device on the plane? That could have seriously damaged someone's luggage (besides mine) and filled the cabin with toxic smoke, or worse yet exploded inside the cargo cabin, all 51Wh of it all. Banning ALL Apple and ALL Dell batteries, not just those made by Sony, is shortsighted and likely a decision made by a very uninformed person. My battery was more a risk to the plane then any of the Sony batteries and they inspected it and let me on. What gives?

hmmm... (0)

mAIsE (548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122243)

how about banning all sony batteries instead of entire brands that use some sony batteries ?

I have a mac book pro that does not have a sony battery.

Re:hmmm... (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122500)

Because that's likely beyond the intellectual abilities of the people who need to enforce the rules.

Re:hmmm... (1)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122750)

Oh come on. Even ignoring any negative stereotypes you may have about the intelligence of security and airport personnel in general, what kind of "intellectual abilities" could identifying battery model numbers require? Valid gripes would include the extra time it would take to check every Apple and Dell battery, or the hassle to passengers, but not claiming that security officers don't have the capability to match numbers on a battery to numbers on a list.

Wow (4, Insightful)

joel8x (324102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122246)

So, even if you are using a 3rd party battery or have one of the replaced ones, you know they won't let you use it anyway. That's one less airline I will be using. Stupid. Just stupid.

Why not ban all muslims from airplanes, since a few muslims hijacked some airplanes? IT'S THE SAME THOUGHT PROCESS. You think the muslims are pissed about the pope right now? Wait 'till you piss off some Apple fanatics - then you will be in a living hell.

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122345)

Why not ban all muslims from airplanes, since a few muslims hijacked some airplanes? IT'S THE SAME THOUGHT PROCESS. You think the muslims are pissed about the pope right now? Wait 'till you piss off some Apple fanatics - then you will be in a living hell.

Even worse - Muslim Mac users!

The DHS should add that category to their profile Top Ten List, right above Weird Looking Guys with Beards.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122602)

Even worse - Muslim Mac users!

JIHAD!

Ugly hack (5, Insightful)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122253)

/me tapes over the DELL sticker

Re:Ugly hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122303)

i dunno if it counts as an "ugly" hack if it ends up being an improvement. . .

Re:Ugly hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122546)

Good idea mate! Let me fetch a bit of tape... I now present to you my new "DFLL" laptop!!! THAT'LL FOOL 'EM!

Dumb (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122261)

This is really really pointless. They already did the recall a while ago, and I'm sure most professionals heard about it and checked it. And face it, most laptop users I've seen on flights have been professionals, not little kids playing Half-Life.

I could see if they did this just as everything was announced (and even then only for a short time).

My policy towards Virgin... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122266)

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o...l..............x....l.....l..x............l.o
a...l.............l....x.......x..x...........l.a
t...l..........x.x....l.........l..x...........lt
s...l.........x.x......x__xx___x....l..........ls
e..l...........x........l....l.......l.........le
x..l..........l.........l....l.......l.........lx
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
Virgin Atlantic's story began in 1982 when Randolph Fields, an American-born lawyer, set up British Atlantic Airways as a direct successor to Laker Airways to restart the failed carrier's popular transatlantic low-fare services as well as to operate the first-ever scheduled air service from the UK to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas for Argentina) . However, in order to get his new venture airborne, Fields needed another sponsor. He met Richard Branson - plain Mr. as he was at that time - at a "high society" party in central London during which he proposed a business partnership between Branson and himself to get his fledgling airline off the ground. Although Branson reportedly agreed to Fields' request to inject more money into the planned airline venture, following a major disagreement between Fields and himself he eventually decided to buy out Fields' interest in the airline and to rename it Virgin Atlantic Airways. Thus, Virgin Atlantic was born in 1984. On June 22, 1984 it made its inaugural scheduled air service between London Gatwick and Newark using a single, leased Boeing 747-200. In 1986 the airline added another 747 and started a second scheduled route from Gatwick to Miami. Additional aircraft were acquired and further routes were launched from Gatwick to New York-JFK (1988), Tokyo (1989), Los Angeles (1990), Boston (1991) and Orlando (1992).

Virgin has always been a rival of British Airways. In January 1991 the UK Civil Aviation Authority opened the door for Virgin to operate from Heathrow and services were started from July 1991, one of the major causes of the BA "dirty tricks" campaign against Virgin. In 1992 BA's PA director David Burnside published an article in BA News which argued that Branson protestations against British Airways were merely for publicity. Branson sued British Airways for libel. BA settled out of court when its lawyers unearthed evidence of the extraordinary lengths the company went to "kill off" Virgin. BA was faced with a legal bill of up to £3m, damages to Sir Richard of £500,000 and a further £110,000 to his airline. Branson divided his £500,000 amongst his staff in the so-called "BA bonus", each receiving £166.

In the 1990s, Virgin Atlantic jets were painted with the words "No-Way BA/AA" in opposition to the attempted merger between British Airways and American Airlines [2]. In 1997, following British Airways' announcement that it was to remove the Union Jack from its tailfins in favour of world images, Virgin took advantage of the controversy provoked by introducing a union flag design on the winglets of its aircraft, and changed the red dress on the "Scarlet Lady" on the nose of its aircraft to the union flag also, with the tag line "Britain's Flag Carrier" to tongue-in-cheek challenge BA's traditional spot in this role. Relations with British Airways improved considerably (though rivalry continued) with the arrival of Rod Eddington as BA CEO. Eddington replaced Robert Ayling, who was a key player in the dirty tricks affair.

49% of Virgin Atlantic was sold to Singapore Airlines in December 1999 for £600.25 million.

In August 2002, Virgin became the first airline to use the Airbus A340-600. Rolls-Royce have won all recent engine competitions for Virgin aircraft; the company's Trent-500's will power the A340s and the Trent 900 will power A380s on order.

The airline has three classes of service: Economy, Premium Economy and Upper Class. Premium Economy provides a separate check-in, a larger seat with more leg room than Economy, and a welcoming glass of champagne. Virgin Atlantic calls its business-class product offering "Upper Class". Upper Class passengers can request complimentary limousine pick-up and drop-off at the airport, and at their destination, although the limousine is not available to those who purchase the cheaper "Z" coded Upper Class fare. At the airport, Upper Class passengers can use Virgin's clubhouse lounge. On board and in the Heathrow and Gatwick clubhouses, passengers can avail themselves of massage services. Unlike some international carriers, Virgin gives free personal amenity kits, including toothbrush, pen, earplugs and eyemask, to passengers in all three classes. Upper Class passengers are now given a paper envelope, with just socks, eyeshades and earplugs in it, other items are available on request, subject to stock. Virgin also pioneered seat-back personal TVs in all classes, and have begun upgrading their aircraft to an Audio/Video on Demand (AVOD) system called V:Port.

The V:Port system offers a choice of approximately 50 full length feature films, 60 audio CDs, and around 200 hours of television shows. Also featured are video games, some of which can be played against other passengers.

In the second quarter of 2006 Virgin announced that they will launch an updated Premium Economy product with leather seats and a wider seat than British Airways business class offering, Club World. This new design is due to launch in late 2006 or early 2007.

During the Revolutionary War, the thirteen states first formed a weak central government--with the Congress being its only component--under the Articles of Confederation. Congress lacked any power to impose taxes, and, because there was no national executive or judiciary, it relied on state authorities, who were often uncooperative, to enforce all its acts. It also had no authority to override tax laws and tariffs between states. The Articles required unanimous consent from all the states before they could be amended and states took the central government so lightly that their representatives were often absent. For lack of a quorum, Congress was frequently blocked from making even moderate changes. In September 1786, commissioners from five states met in the Annapolis Convention to discuss adjustments to the Articles of Confederation that would improve commerce. They invited state representatives to convene in Philadelphia to discuss improvements to the federal government. After debate, the Confederation Congress endorsed the plan to revise the Articles of Confederation on February 21, 1787. Twelve states, Rhode Island being the only exception, accepted this invitation and sent delegates to convene in May 1787. The resolution calling the Convention specified its purpose was to propose amendments to the Articles, but the Convention decided to propose a rewritten Constitution. The Philadelphia Convention voted to keep deliberations secret and decided to draft a new fundamental government design which eventually stipulated that only 9 of the 13 states would have to ratify for the new government to go into effect (for the participating states). These actions were criticized by some as exceeding the convention's mandate and existing law. However, Congress, noting dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation government, unanimously agreed to submit the proposal to the states despite what some perceived as the exceeded terms of reference. On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was completed in Philadelphia, followed by a speech given by Benjamin Franklin. In it he talked about how he wasn't completely satisfied with it but that perfection would never fully be achieved. He accepted the document as it was and he wanted all those against the ratification of it to do the same. The new government it prescribed came into existence on March 4, 1789, after fierce fights over ratification in many of the states. All four pages of the original transcribed copy of the Constitution are retained by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Only the first page and the fourth (signature) page are on permanent display, with the document being on public display in its entirety only on Constitution Day (September 17) each year. The remainder of the constitution consists of seven original articles and twenty-seven amendments. [edit] Legislative power Main article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One establishes the legislative branch of government, U.S. Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Article establishes the manner of election and qualifications of members of each House. In addition, it provides for free debate in congress and limits self-serving behavior of congressmen, outlines legislative procedure and indicates the powers of the legislative branch. Finally, it establishes limits on federal and state legislative power. [edit] Executive power Main article: Article Two of the United States Constitution Article Two describes the presidency (the executive branch): procedures for the selection of the president, qualifications for office, the oath to be affirmed and the powers and duties of the office. It also provides for the office of Vice President of the United States, and specifies that the Vice President succeeds to the presidency if the President is incapacitated, dies, or resigns, although whether this succession was on an acting or permanent basis was unclear until the passage of the 25th Amendment. Article Two also provides for the impeachment and removal from office of civil officers (the President, Vice President, judges, and others). (See presidential system) [edit] Judicial power Main article: Article Three of the United States Constitution Article Three describes the court system (the judicial branch), including the Supreme Court. The article requires that there be one court called the Supreme Court; Congress, at its discretion, can create lower courts, whose judgments and orders are reviewable by the Supreme Court. Article Three also requires trial by jury in all criminal cases, defines the crime of treason, and charges Congress with providing for a punishment for it, while imposing limits on that punishment. [edit] States' powers and limits Main article: Article Four of the United States Constitution Article Four describes the relationship between the states and the Federal government, and amongst the states. For instance, it requires states to give "full faith and credit" to the public acts, records and court proceedings of the other states. Congress is permitted to regulate the manner in which proof of such acts, records or proceedings may be admitted. The "privileges and immunities" clause prohibits state governments from discriminating against citizens of other states in favor of resident citizens (e.g., having tougher penalties for residents of Ohio convicted of crimes within Michigan). It also establishes extradition between the states, as well as laying down a legal basis for freedom of movement and travel amongst the states. Today, this provision is sometimes taken for granted, especially by citizens who live near state borders; but in the days of the Articles of Confederation, crossing state lines was often a much more arduous (and costly) process. Article Four also provides for the creation and admission of new states. The Territorial Clause gives Congress the power to make rules for disposing of Federal property and governing non-state territories of the United States. Finally, the fourth section of Article Four requires the United States to guarantee to each state a republican form of government, and to protect the states from invasion and violence. [edit] Process of amendment Main article: Article Five of the United States Constitution Article Five describes the process necessary to amend the Constitution. It establishes two methods of proposing amendments: by Congress or by a national convention requested by the states. Under the first method, Congress can propose an amendment by a two-thirds vote (of a quorum, not necessarily of the entire body) of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Under the second method, two-thirds of the state legislatures may convene and "apply" to Congress to hold a national convention, whereupon Congress must call such a convention for the purpose of considering amendments. As of mid-2006, only the first method (proposal by Congress) has been used. Once proposed--whether submitted by a national convention or by Congress--amendments must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states to take effect. Article Five gives Congress the option of requiring ratification by state legislatures or by special conventions assembled in the states. The convention method of ratification has been used only once (to approve the 21st Amendment). Article Five currently places only one limitation on the amending power--that no amendment can deprive a state of its equal representation in the Senate without that state's consent. [edit] Federal power Main article: Article Six of the United States Constitution Article Six establishes the Constitution, and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it, to be the supreme law of the land, and that "the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the laws or constitutions of any state notwithstanding." It also validates national debt created under the Articles of Confederation and requires that all legislators, federal officers, and judges take oaths or affirmations to "support" the Constitution. This means that the states' constitutions and laws should not conflict with the laws of the federal constitution-- and that in case of a conflict, state judges are legally bound to honor the federal laws and constitution over those of any state. [edit] Ratification Main article: Article Seven of the United States Constitution Article Seven sets forth the requirements for ratification of the Constitution. The Constitution would not take effect until at least nine states had ratified the Constitution in state conventions specially convened for that purpose. New Hampshire became that ninth state on June 21, 1788. Once the Congress of the Confederation received word of New Hampshire's ratification, it set a timetable for the start of operations under the Constitution, and, on March 4, 1789, the government under the Constitution began operations. The Constitution was ratified by the states in the following order:

My IBM Z50 w/NetBSD runs off of AAs! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122276)

- that's right... old technology, new operating system, and FIVE hours runtime off AA batteries on my Z50 running NetBSD! (10 hours w/the dual-LiIon batteries)...

- solution? don't fly Virgin

(and don't be a virgin!) :-)

So, a ThinkPad catches on fire... (1)

AetherBurner (670629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122279)

Ok, so a Thinkpad's battery catches on fire. No where does it say in the article that there were Sony batteries actually in the unit. Nowhere does it say that the battery pack was genuine IBM or not. Nowhere does it say that the battery pack was virgin and not damaged from dropping, being worked on, etc. So,the emperor does not have any clothes on. Li-Ion batteries are capable of delivering large amounts of short circuit current. They can fail. A Gates Energy Products 2 volt lead-acid starved electrolyte battery the size of a D-cell could deliver 150 amps short circuit current. Unfortunately, the spec sheet for the Sanyo batteries that are in my Thinkpad do not mention what the short circuit current rating is for the battery. So until there is more info, just move along.

85 Watt MacBook Pro Power Supplies (5, Insightful)

mhocker (607466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122293)

Oh, and how are us MacBook Pro users going to use the "inflight power" with our monster 85 watt power supplies that don't work on ANY airline?

No toothpaste, no pocket knives, now no laptop. I'm really getting sick of the air travel nazis. It's making the "won't you think of the children" bunch look sane.

Re:85 Watt MacBook Pro Power Supplies (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122316)

I can see why no pocket knives are allowed. And a lil bit for the toothpaste, just because of the whole bombing plot. But why do you need a pocket knife on a plane?

Re:85 Watt MacBook Pro Power Supplies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122430)

To shave off my excessively long beard that grew while I was waiting to board the plane.

Re:85 Watt MacBook Pro Power Supplies (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122523)

On a plane, you might not actively need it. I know I find having one on my keychain to be very useful though, it comes in handy far more often then you might otherwise expect.

What's the possible harm? As long as the cockpit is properly secured, and you manage to ban power tools, axes, and things of that class, nobody is going to take over the plane anyway.

Things were very different pre-9/11, back then a hijacking just meant everyone would get an unexpected stopover and a bunch of time and hassle for everyone involved, there was little threat of death, so a small weapon (which could realistically kill one or two people before the hijackers were subdued) was a big deal vs everybody wasting a few hours of their lives.

Post-9/11, the rules are different -- The expectation is that if you hand control of the airplane over, everyone might die. As a result, someone threatening the life of one passenger or crew member is not a sufficient threat to hand over everyone's lives.

Re:85 Watt MacBook Pro Power Supplies (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122537)

Use iChat and stay home...

There is zero excuse for busness travel anymore.

Dude...! (1)

JaededByName (1003287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122311)

My company (a very big one) uses Dell laptops exclusivly... They've just lost a *major* customer... Dude...! You're goin' out of business...!

Re:Dude...! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122437)

My company, also quite large (In the top 50 of fortune 500) also exclusively uses Dell laptops, and will also be losing a lot of customers as the company likes it if you do work while you're on the plane since you're considered to be on the clock.

No explosions, please. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122312)

Will Virgin allow on board exploding Sony batteries in IBM ThinkPads?

Any battery that is currently exploding is probably not allowed, regardless of make.

Indiscriminate ban (1)

Greg Lindahl (37568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122317)


My Dell laptop is so old that it isn't subject to the recall, but Virgin's ban is for all Dell laptops.

Ah well.

old news (1)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122325)

sorry but virgin has been banning this for a while, i know last time i flew from heathrow to shanghai just after the the `foiled plot` they had notices up at the counter, this was 4 weeks ago

This would make sense... (0)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122327)

This would make sense if they were checking battery serial numbers to see if they were part of the defective batches. However to ban them wholesale is ridiculous. This sounds more like one CEO wants to smear mud in the face of another CEO (or worse, they have an interest in a competitive product or manufacturer).

Dan East

Re:This would make sense... (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122512)

I think you're overestimating the amount of time, effort and intellect airlines have available to screen passengers.

You can teach chimps to recognize a Dell or Apple logo, you likely cannot teach them to verify against a serial number database (which would need to be maintained too, since the recall might well be expanded)

In other news... (1)

Rodness (168429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122392)

Today Virgin Atlantic strongly expressed its lack of desire to continue to do business with frequent business travelers by making their lives more difficult.

Not that any of the road warriors in my company regularly fly on Virgin Atlantic, but it's already landed on our corporate "we'd prefer you didn't use this airline/car rental/hotel/etc for business travel" list.

This seems to be a simple concept, if you make it hard for business travelers to get work done, they'll travel with someone else who won't get in their way. I don't understand why an airline doesn't get this.

Proper wrapping (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122404)

The announcement, posted on Virgin's website, said that passengers may carry on the laptop itself, but batteries must be properly wrapped and stowed away in carry-on for the duration of the flight.

Be sure to use lots of layers of tinfoil wrapped tightly around the battery! :-D

Good for a chuckle (1)

Mr.Scamp (974300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122440)

It's probably wrong of me, but I just know I'm going to have to chuckle at all those Dell and Apple owners when I walk onto the plane with my SONY laptop.

What about the security checkpoint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122502)

Do you still have to boot up your laptop and show the security guard that it works? If so, isn't this effectively an outright ban on Apple and Dell laptops on Virgin Atlantic flights?

somethingawful.com = something fishy? (1)

spnz (1003292) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122554)

Following the link to "Will Virgin allow on board exploding Sony batteries in IBM ThinkPads?" I found something weird about the story. While I don't contest the Thinkpad burned up, I think the story surrounding the incident is a little difficult to believe. Check out the story and explain to me this:

          "I spoke to the laptop owner (while getting close for some pictures!) and he said he his laptop was an IBM"...

There is absolutely no one in the photos or anywhere around, making me think these are stock or airport photos taken after the incident, not from an opportunist.

      "Notice the circular hotspot on the floor where the thing actually burned."...

Come on, it's from the base of the divider stand. Also note that the chair has been pulled back.

Looks more like someone had a problem while sitting in the waiting area not running off a plane!

Based on that I think we need to question the entire story.

title is wrong (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122566)

How does banning batteries for two laptop brands equal banning the laptops themselves?

Will they stop flights? (1)

TalkingWire (1002401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122570)

I'm curious. If the proportion of people injured or killed in flight is equal to or greater than the proportion of users killed or injured owing to exploding laptop batteries, will Virgin discontinue its flights?

Virgin Galactic (1)

Plocmstart (718110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122572)

Hmmmm well guess I better fly Virgin Galactic instead. Seriously though I've already returned my iBook battery and received my new non-explodey one.
Actually when I travel I typically have at least 6 lithium ion batteries in my carry-on: laptop, spare, camera, cellphone, PSP, and Archos MP3 player. The only other items I usually have are my bathroom items that aren't already banned. When they ban all lithium-ion batteries I'll have no need for a carry-on anymore.

So now I can't play Snake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122579)

...on a plane?

*ducks*

Apple recalls. (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16122690)

In case you fly Virgin and are lucky enough to get a seat with a power source for your iBook or PowerBook, keep this in mind:
http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/13/ 1710258 [slashdot.org]
For the life of me, I cannot grasp that the hell is in the minds of these corporate lackeys. Will they ever realize that assembling things on the cheap not only endangers lives, but ends up costing tons more in the long run, by way of recalls, damage control and alienated customers?

That said, now that Apple is doing a massive recall, the very least they should do is give out some sort of certificate that the battery has been replaced with a newer, safer model. These guys (Apple and Virgin) should be in talks about it.

If all else fails, at least you can kick back in your incredibly cramped Airbus seat, sipping from a can of nasty Virgin Cola, playing quarter-of-a-century-old Nintendo games, all the while trying to scrape the breakfast muffin dough that has turned to glue in the roof of your mouth. On a more sinister note, maybe Richard Branson has his eye on the battery market? Virgin Batteries, "The Life Of Your Laptop".

A Word to the travel wise ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16122764)

... Virgin has gone bloody bonkers!

Sell Virgin stock on Monday, and avoid them for tickets!

Give Virgin and Sir "high school drop-out" the financial finger and they will listen.

Toodles
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