The FAA has a history of banning devices from commercial flights that are covered in a recall that poses a fire risk. A fire in a commercial aircraft flying at altitude is a major hazard, to say the least. In the past, the FAA banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, and now the agency has issued a ban that prevents any of the older 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks that are covered in a battery recall from being taken on commercial flights.
The FAA issued a statement that noted it is aware of the recalled batteries used in some MacBook Pro laptops and that it has alerted U.S. airlines about the recall. The FAA reminded the airlines to follow safety guidelines for the recalled batteries, which means that impacted notebooks can't be taken on flights as cargo or carry-on baggage.
Bloomberg cited an internal notice from a company that manages cargo for four airlines called Total Cargo Expertise telling its employees that TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy, and Air Transat have all implemented a ban on MacBook Pro notebooks sold between mid-2015 to February 2017. TUI Group also noted that airport staff and flight attendants would make announcements about the ban at the gate before aircraft boarding. However, TUI Group airlines is based in the U.K., and it's not clear if any similar announcements will be made in the States.
Apple announced a voluntary recall on the older 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks in June that were sold between September 2015 and February 2017. The recall noted that the machines had a battery inside that could overheat and pose a fire risk. Owners of older MacBook Pro notebooks can figure out if their computer is covered by the recall here.