US Airlines Announced Galaxy Note 7 Ban

We previous reported that a few Australian airlines are banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7 following battery issues, which may result in devices catching fire. FAA issued a statement advising against the use of the specific phone model, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission urged all users to stop using Galaxy Note 7s altogether.

A phone was caught in the seat mechanism and the battery exploded on a Qantas flight earlier this year. not note 7

A phone was caught in the seat mechanism and the battery exploded on a Qantas flight earlier this year. Image by Qantas.

Since then, multiple other airlines have issued statements or made announcements regarding the Galaxy Note 7. These include Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, KLM, and Emirates, among others.

There is no denying that more airlines are starting to be more cautious with the Galaxy Note 7 situation. While US airlines mostly stayed quiet early on, many are now making announcements either in the terminal or onboard. Passengers are told to leave their devices off, and that the phones cannot be placed in checked bags. Some even mentioned that the phone cannot be placed in the overhead compartments.

I raised the question of how this could even be enforced, considering many smart phones look similar nowadays, and unlike hoverboards, which were also ban due to fire hazard, almost everyone has a smartphone. Furthermore, passengers could easily turn them back on or simply hide them in their pockets/bags. Taylor Garland, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said (link contains autoplay video):

There are a lot of duties that flight attendants have on board, and there has to be more staffing if this is going to be the case that they have to check every single phone for every single passenger on the plane.

Well, a few people have reported on Twitter and other social media outlets that some announcements seemed to issue a ban on all Samsung phones.

That is definitely not the right way to institute a ban. And frankly if this is a system-wide policy, it would be pretty ironic, because American Airlines actually equips their flight attendants with Galaxy Note devices. I am leaning towards this announcement being made by misguided flight attendants. Still, if the announcement is not standardized, I can see this potentially being problematic for those traveling with other Samsung smartphones.

There is no doubt the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 poses a potential fire hazard. I applaud airlines for staying cautious (or at least giving the impression of staying cautious), and hopefully Samsung can replace all the phones in a timely manner!

Have you flown recently on a flight that includes the Note 7 announcement?

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