US Bans All Samsung Galaxy Note7 Phones From Airplanes

An emergency ban has been put in place prohibiting anyone in possession of one of the phones from boarding a flight in the U.S. 

A man checks his Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone at a telecommunications shop in Seoul, Korea, on Sept. 19, 2016.
A man checks his Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone at a telecommunications shop in Seoul, Korea, on Sept. 19, 2016. JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Effective Oct. 15 at noon ET, Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones are banned from all air transportation in the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation says.

In a statement released Friday, the DOT, along with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, announced an emergency order banning the phone on all flights after repeated reports of the phones exploding or catching fire.

“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident in-flight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”

Incidents of the phones catching fire or exploding have been reported frequently over the past several months. The phones were originally recalled Sept. 15, and customers were urged to get replacement phones from their mobile carriers. After reports that the replacement phones were also problematic, another recall was issued Oct. 13. On Oct. 11, Samsung suspended the production and sale of the phones altogether.

“The fire hazard with the original Note 7 and with the replacement Note 7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall,” said U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund.  It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do.”

The DOT announcement notes the following:

  • If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, they will be denied boarding.
  • Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident. Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.
  • Passengers currently traveling with Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones should contact Samsung or their wireless carrier immediately to obtain information about how to return their phones and arrange for a refund or a replacement phone.   
  • If a flight crew member identifies that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device while the aircraft is in flight, the crew member must instruct the passenger to power off the device; not use or charge the device while aboard the aircraft; protect the device from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks; and keep the device on their person and not in the overhead compartment, seat back pocket or any carry-on baggage for the duration of the flight.

Read more at the Department of Transportation.