Virgin puts battery ban on Apples, Dells

Taking strict airline "No Smoking" policies to new heights, Virgin Airlines has joined Qantas and Korean Air in restricting usage of many Apple and Dell laptops on flights.

Specifically, owners of Apple and Dell systems can't run them on battery power while flying, because the airline fears they pose a potential fire hazard.

The move comes in response to the recent recalls of batteries in some of the companies' respective laptops. The lithium-ion batteries, made by Sony, had an unfortunate habit of overheating and bursting into flames, resulting in startling computer pyrotechnics.

Dell announced the recall of 4.1 million batteries last month. A week later, Apple followed suit, recalling 1.8 million batteries.

Passengers can still bring their Dell and Apple laptops on board; they just can't run them with battery power. That means only customers sitting in Premier Economy or Upper Class seats, who have access to in-seat power supplies, will be able to use their systems.

According to Virgin's Web site, customers will be permitted to bring two individually wrapped/protected" batteries in their carry-on baggage.

The restriction is indefinite. "Virgin is in communication with Apple and Dell. As soon as this safety issue is resolved these restrictions will be lifted," according to the site.

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