An unlucky batch of third-generation iPad Airs has a defect that causes the display to go permanently blank, and there’s no way to fix it without getting it repaired.
Apple acknowledged the defect and is issuing free repairs for anyone who experiences the issue at any time within two years of purchase. The bug appears to primarily affect models manufactured between March 2019 through October 2019, but note that manufacture date is different than purchase date, so there may be sealed models from that time period still floating around retail shelves.
If your iPad Air’s screen has gone blank, all you have to do is contact Apple Support or pop into your local Apple Store, Best Buy, or Apple-certified independent repair location to get your busted screen fixed for free. Don’t bring in an iPad Air with an actually busted screen, however, as Apple will make you pay to fix that. As it describes:
“If your iPad Air has any damage which impairs the ability to complete the repair, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the service. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the additional repair.”
Also, Apple’s repair doesn’t extend the warranty on your iPad Air; it’s just a one-off fix if your tablet has suddenly turned into a paperweight. Don’t forget to back up your device—which will likely have to be a direct connection to your computer, since you won’t be able to see your screen to confirm an iCloud backup—before giving it up to Apple to fix.