We know that people are unfairly discriminated against everyday for any number of reasons -- their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and even weight -- but a new policy recently enacted by Australia's Qantas airline seems to be the first time in history that folks are being singled out because of the brand of laptop they choose to sport. Due to the recent spate of flaming Dell notebooks and the subsequent, unprecedented battery recall, new Qantas regulations make it clear that no Dell laptops -- not even those unaffected by the recall -- are allowed to contain batteries while on the plane; at one point Qantas even reportedly took the unusual step of requiring Dell-toting passengers to remove their batteries at the gate and tape up the contact points, ensuring that only those clever enough to remove the tape would be able to operate their laptops in-flight. Either way, if you want to get some work done, you'll have to buy a first- or business-class ticket (and probably an inverter as well) to power your lappy from the embedded outlets only available in the pricier cabins. A Qantas spokesperson claims that the policy has been relaxed a bit since the initial Dell owners were pulled aside before boarding; now you won't have to "admit" owning a Dell until an on-board announcement requires you to do so. "Once you've figured out how to operate your seatbelt, located the emergency exits, and safely stowed your carry-on luggage in the overhead bins, please calmly remove the battery from any Dell laptop you may be carrying so that it does not spontaneously combust and kill us all. Thank you for choosing Qantas, and have a super flight."

[Via TUAW]

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Qantas to Dell owners: Reveal thyselves!