Is That a Bomb in Your Pocket or Just Your Smartphone? Why Airlines Hate the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
The release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 started off with a literal bang, as many of the new phones have been spontaneously catching fire due to a battery cell issue.
With this, there is a very real fear that people could end up with burnt hands or faces from the device (not to mention a mangled and melted phone), but it turns out there’s an even bigger issue that could potentially arise: phones catching fire during flights. Thus, numerous airlines have asked Samsung Galaxy Note 7 users to keep their phones on their person (and do not put them in checked luggage), turn them off for the entirety of the flight, and not charge the devices while aboard.
This includes carriers such as Southwest, Delta, United, Qantas, Virgin, and British Airways — with Air France even including a warning in their safety video that instructs passengers who drop their phones behind their seats to immediately call over a flight attendant to retrieve it so they are not accidentally crushed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stopped short of an outright ban, instead saying in a statement that it “strongly advises passengers” to follow the aforementioned precautions. The Department of Transportation echoed similar sentiments.
Samsung sold at least 2.5 million phones prior to the recall, and the company has already begun issuing replacements for the at-risk models.