Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners have just been delivered some more bad news as on Friday, an emergency order was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation which states that beginning noon, October 15, the phone is banned from all flights in the United States. The ban comes after the company issued a recall and stopped production on the phone entirely after reports that many were catching fire and exploding.
Current restrictions regarding phones on planes mainly stipulate that the devices are required to be turned off, but even this will not be allowed for the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Fox 10 TV reported that the smartphones are banned completely and passengers who are caught trying to evade the ban and board with the Note 7 will be subject to fines and could also have their phone confiscated.
Those who might be contemplating getting around the ban by sneaking in a carry-on or checked luggage should think twice as the department says that could lead to the increased risk of a “catastrophic incident” and the person caught doing this could face criminal prosecution.
It has not been made clear how effective the ban will be at actually getting persons to not travel on a plane with the phone as the TSA said that their agents will not be actively searching for them at checkpoints. But if the units are seen, the owner will be advised of the ban and told not to take it on board, and if they are found on a carry-on it will be turned over to the airline. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx gave a statement about the severity of the threat the phones pose since they could catch fire at any time.
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. 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.”
The Department of Transportation, the FAA, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration all collaborated on the issuing of the ban. The FAA had previously sent out an advisory for users to turn off the Galaxy Note 7 devices before boarding a plane and was the first instance that the FAA had ever had an advisory for a particular model of phone. This occurred when the battery problem was first discovered, but when the replacement Note 7s that Samsung sent out were also found to have the same defect, things changed.
The news of the ban comes just days after Samsung officially killed the Note 7 and announced that they would be having an expanded global recall for the potentially dangerous devices. The total expense for the recall has been estimated to be at least $5.3 billion.
Samsung also released a statement regarding the ban of the phones on planes.
“Samsung, together with carriers, is working to communicate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new order to ban all Galaxy Note 7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights. We have encouraged airlines to issue similar communications directly to their passengers. Any Galaxy Note 7 owner should visit their carrier and retail store to participate in the U.S. Note 7 Refund and Exchange Program now. We realize this is an inconvenience but your safety has to remain our top priority.”
It actually comes as little surprise that the FAA has banned the Galaxy Note 7 from going on any flights as even the company is not sure exactly what is causing the phones to catch fire. Recently, one went up in flames on a Southwest Airlines jet as it was parked at the gate.
[Featured Image by Joni Gantz Barwick/AP Images]