Most airplane will fly up to 40,000ft or 12,000m, but the airplane are typically operating at a cabin pressure equivalent to 8,000ft-9,000ft or 2,400m-2700m.
Hard-disk Tech Spec
Altitude (operating) 3,000 m (10,000ft)
Altitude (non-operating) 12,000 m
The head of the hard disk (which moves back and forth to read data from the platters) floats on a cushion of air. If the pressure is too low, there won’t be enough air, and the head can crash, potentially causing massive disk damage.
Why some harddisk still refuse to start at altitude less than 3000m, whereas some harddisks can work?
a) pressure varies slightly in different place at same altitude
b) hardware tech spec may varies slightly with different units
note : even it can work, it is risky to work on your notebook.