Airlines are struggling to deal with passengers and potentially dangerous Samsung Note 7s as amassive recall campaign for the phones continues. Last week, a phone carried by a passenger on Southwest Airlines overheated, leading to the aircraft’s evacuation. According to The Verge, that phone had already been replaced as part of the recall effort.
This weekend, Ars Technica reported that up to five post-recalled phones have experienced overheating issues.
A man walks by an advertisement of the Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. South Korea’s government asked Samsung Electronics to extend the refund period for its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that have been subject to an unprecedented global recall. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
As Samsung investigates this new series of overheating issues, most airlines have taken a strict path towards allowing the hardware on aircraft. Delta Air Lines released a statement derived from a Department of Transportation broadcast on its website, saying:
Delta customers may only travel with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone device subject to the CPSC recall if they comply with the following instructions:
- Turn off the device;
- Disconnect the device from any charging equipment;
- Disable all applications that could inadvertently activate the phone (e.g. alarm clock);
- Protect the power switch to prevent the phone from being unintentionally activated or turned-on; and
- Keep the device in carry-on baggage or on their person, and do not place in checked baggage.
After last week’s events, Southwest issued a similar edict, though neither carrier has released statements about the newest batch of Note 7s, which are technically not part of the recall.
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At airports, enforcement of the Note 7 ban has been strict, irrespective of whether the device is pre or post-recall.
A lady at airport check in counter asked me, Sir do have a Samsung Note 7 with you?
— Saad Fahim (@saadfahim) October 8, 2016
At the airport & airlines are asking folks with the Galaxy Note 7 not to turn on or charge their phones on the plane. Yikes.
— Jess Gray (@HeyJessGray) October 9, 2016
Travelers, meanwhile, have been forced to contend with a device that they cannot use during flight, cutting into valuable productivity time. As wireless carriers look into halting sales of the Note 7 altogether this week, many affected Samsung customers may have no choice but to move to a different handset manufacturer in order to stay connected on the road.