Just a few days ago, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a formal ban on Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which has been in effect since Saturday. All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, including replacements, are not allowed on any flights to/from the US. This is due to potentially faulty batteries that can overheat and smoke, creating a fire hazard.
The prohibition came after a series of softer bans, from foreign airlines banning the use of the phone, to an FAA statement, to US airlines‘ ban. Earlier this month, a replacement Galaxy Note 7 caught fire on a Southwest flight, and a few incidents with replacement phones followed.
This latest ban carries some significant consequences, and apparently you can be fined up to $179,933 and/or face up to a 10-year imprisonment if you violate the ban by bringing a phone onto a plane. The ban has apparently been surprising to some passengers, and Samsung has begun setting up exchange or refund kiosks in airport terminals around the world.
The booths first showed up at major airports in South Korea, Samsung’s home base. They have also started setting up booths in Australian airports, where the ban is at airlines’ discretions, available from 6 am to 8 pm. There are also reports that Samsung representatives are now at major US airports, making exchanges or offering refunds to passengers..
I would like to think that the majority of Galaxy Note 7 owners have already returned or exchanged their phones, but I can also see how some passengers might be surprised by the ban when they check-in for their flight. Kudos to Samsung for doing basically everything it can to help passengers out, by making themselves available in strategic locations!