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by Mike Zazaian September 24, 2006 - 1:28pm, No Comments

A Virgin Atlantic Airbus

After a string of exploding Apple and Dell notebook batteries, Virgin Atlantic Airlines rushed to ban all Dell and Apple notebooks from use on flights. Luckily for Apple-and-Dell-owning jetsetters, Branson’s airline has eased restrictions.

On September 14th Virgin Atlantic airlines, an offshoot of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Records Megastore, announced a blanket ban in which no Apple or Dell laptops would be allowed on flights with a battery connected. Irked by the decision, Apple and Dell executives went immediately into discussions with the airline seeking ways to modify the ban.

Those talks have come to fruition, as now Virgin is only banning those laptops with serial numbers matching those of the Sony battery recall. According to a statement from Virgin Atlantic:

If the battery is identified as being from the affected batch as identified by Apple and Dell, the battery must be removed. In cabins where the seats are fitted with In Seat Power Supplies, leads/adapters will be offered. Where no ISPS is provided or no laptop leads/adapters are available, the use of these affected laptops is prohibited.

Virgin initially offered the same power supply initiative during the initial ban of the laptops, but on planes not equipped with power outlets Dell and Apple owners were left to twiddle their thumbs in lieu of being computorially productive.

There’s no word yet as to whether the ban will include IBM notebooks after an incident last week in which a IBM Lenovo laptop burst into flames as its owner was boarding a flight at LAX. The battery on the Lenovo notebook? You guessed it, made by Sony.

[via The Register]