Government Agencies Ban All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones from Airplanes

The devices cannot be transported on a passenger's person, in carry-ons, in checked baggage, or shipped as air cargo

Government Agencies Ban All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones from Airplanes
Image: Samsung
October 17, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have issued an emergency order banning all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from airplanes in the U.S.

The prohibition includes any and all Galaxy Note 7 devices. The phones cannot be transported on a passenger's person, in carry-ons, in checked baggage, or shipped as air cargo on flights to, from, or within the U.S.

The ban became effective on October 15, 2016.

"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 inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."

Owners of the affected devices have documented and reported incidents in which both the recalled and replacement phones have dangerously overheated or exploded. Samsung halted the manufacture and sale of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones earlier this month and is offering financial incentives to affected customers who want to refund or exchange the devices.

"The fire hazard with the original Note7 and with the replacement Note7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall," said 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."

If you have a Galaxy Note 7 phone and are planning to travel by air, here is what you need to know:

  • Passengers attempting to travel by air with the affected devices will be denied boarding.
  • Anyone who tries to evade the prohibition by putting the device in checked luggage increases the risk of a catastrophic incident. For this reason, anyone who violates the Galaxy Note 7 ban may be subject to criminal prosecution and fines.
  • Anyone currently travelling with an affected phone should immediately contact either Samsung or his or her wireless carriers to find out how to return the phone and arrange to receive either a refund or a replacement phone.
  • If a representative of the airline sees a passenger in possession of the affected device prior to boarding, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger unless and until he or she divests him or herself and all baggage of the device.
  • If a member of the flight crew discovers that a passenger possesses a Galaxy Note 7 device while the plane is in flight, that crew member must instruct the passenger to power it off, neither use nor charge it while aboard the plane, protect it from activating accidentally—including disabling any features that could turn on the device, such as alarm clocks—and keep it on his or her person and not in the overhead compartment, back pocket of a seat, or in an carry-on baggage as long as the flight lasts.