DOT Bans Galaxy Note 7 on Airplanes


Airline passengers can no longer transport the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in carry-on or checked luggage when flying, according to the US Department of Transportation, which today classified the device as hazardous material.

Samsung permanently ended production of the Note 7 this week and asked retailers to stop selling them after numerous reports of the devices catching fire and exploding.

The DOT ban—which is effective on Saturday, Oct. 15 at noon ET—is more restrictive than an earlier Federal Aviation Administration ruling that allowed passengers to fly with their Note 7s, but forbade them from turning the phones on or charging them in flight.

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

If you try to fly with a Note 7, the device could be confiscated and you could face fines. If you try to hide it in checked luggage, you may be subject to criminal prosecution and fines, the DOT says. If the flight crew notices that you have a Note 7, they should deny you entry to the plane until you ditch your device.

Before ending production, Samsung offered some customers replacement Note 7s that were supposedly safe. But one of those replacement phones starting smoking on a Southwest Airlines plane about to take off from Louisville, Kentucky, last week, which contributed to Samsung halting production of the phablet altogether.

Today's DOT ban comes just days after some airlines started to stock fire-containment bags on flights to handle electronics flare-ups. Delta, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines are installing the bags, capable of withstanding 3,200-degree temperatures, on their aircraft.

As Samsung scrambles to determine what caused its Note 7 smartphones to overheat and catch fire, Google, Apple, and other manufacturers are poised to benefit from the carrier's misstep. A new survey from e-commerce firm Branding Brand found that 40 percent of people who currently own a Samsung device say they won't buy another phone from the Korean electronics giant.

The majority, 62 percent, plan to go with another Android phone for their next purchase, while 30 percent say they plan to switch to the iPhone and 8 percent could buy a Google Pixel.

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