More Airlines Ban Use of Some Battery-Operated Laptops

Concerns about fire hazards posed by overheated laptop computer batteries have prompted three international airlines to stop passengers with Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. laptops from using the batteries in flight, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bans, which have received little publicity, have been enacted on all flights by Virgin Atlantic Airways, which is based in Britain; Korean Air, South Korea's largest airline by revenue; and Qantas Airways of Australia. Though no U.S. airlines have followed suit, the bans potentially affect thousands of American travelers who fly internationally. Passengers in first- and business-class seating can use electrical outlets in their rows, but the power sources aren't available in most coach sections.

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