The United States Transportation Department banned all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on flights effective immediately.
This includes both the original Note 7 phones and any replacement phones. The ban became effective today at noon eastern standard time.
There isn’t one set way for airport security to monitor who has a Note 7 and who doesn’t. However, the best guess is that any Note 7 will be confiscated if you’re caught with the device.
The Department of Transportation also says not to put it into checked luggage, as it could lead to a high risk of “catastrophic incidents.” Anyone caught sneaking their Note 7 into checked luggage could face prosecution.
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Friday in an interview. “We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”
[Image Courtesy of Ariel Gonzalez/YouTube]
Previously, the phones just had to be powered down during the duration of the flight. However, the risk of having them on board went up after a Galaxy Note 7 exploded on a Southwest flight last week.
Here’s exactly what government officials are saying if they see a Note 7 prior to takeoff:
“If an airline representative observes that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Note 7 device prior to boarding an aircraft, the air carrier must deny boarding to the passenger unless and until the passenger divests themselves and their carry-on and checked baggage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device. Passengers absolutely should not pack the phones in their checked luggage.”
If the phone is spotted mid-flight, here’s what will happen:
“If a flight crew member identifies that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 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, nor in any carry-on baggage, for the duration of the flight.”
Long story short, do not even think about bringing your phones through airport security. Samsung is offering an additional $100 credit to exchange all Note 7 phones for another Samsung model like the Edge. Carriers are also offering their own credits to exchange phones for another brand or model.
Via Bloomberg, US Dept. of Transportation