As if the possibility of your smart phone blowing up in your pocket (or house, or car) were not bad enough, The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that it has banned all Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices from flying aboard any aircraft.
The emergency order from FAA along with the U.S Department of Transportation, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration outlined that affected phones shall not be carried into the cabin, placed in checked-in or carried-on luggage, or shipped in air cargo or air mail.
This ban follows 92 reports of the Note7’s lithium-ion batteries overheating, 26 reports of injuries from burns, and 55 reports of property damage, which resulted in a Sept. 15 recall from the U.S Product and Safety Commission.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is one of many airlines working to ensure compliance with the ban, which began Oct. 15.
“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said Tom Nunn, Alaska’s vice president of safety. “In light of recent events involving the Note7, we will be complying with the FAA ban in order to ensure these devices are no longer allowed to fly on-board our aircraft.”
To ensure none of the affected devices make it on-board any aircraft, Travel Safety Administration personnel will be working to identify the devices during the screening process at all airports, announcements will be made throughout boarding areas, and airline personnel have been instructed to deny boarding to any passenger with a Note7 in their possession.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Alaska advises passengers to leave those devices at home, but in the event that a device is mistakenly brought to the airport, a passenger has two options: dispose of the device or take it back to their home.
“Should a customer accidentally arrive at the airport with a Note7, we will be taking care of any flight changes needed to allow them to return the phone before traveling,” said Halley Knigge, a representative for the airline.
If you own a Galaxy Note7 device, visit Samsung.com for refund and exchange information.