Update, September 9: The US Federal Aviation Administration released a brief statement on the issue, urging passengers to not use or charge the Galaxy Note 7 while on board of airplanes and to not check Note 7’s in the hold baggage. Here’s the full statement from the FAA:
In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.
It’s not clear if this statement from the FAA amounts to an actual ban or is just advisory.
Original post, September 8: Samsung has more to worry about than cheap shots from competitors. The Galaxy Note 7 recall might cost it in excess of one billion dollars when all is said and done, and in the meantime, the bad publicity just keeps pouring in.
Don’t miss: Note 7 recall – all the latest information
Three airlines in Australia are now requesting passengers to abstain from charging or even powering on their Galaxy Note 7’s while on board of their planes.
“Following Samsung Australia’s recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device we are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them in flight,” a Qantas represented told Reuters.
The three airlines are Qantas, its budget arm Jetstar, and Virgin Australia. According to the airlines, the ban is a measure of precaution and was not enforced at the behest of Australian aviation safety authorities.
At least one Galaxy Note 7 fire incident has been reported in Australia so far –a businessman’s device caught fire while charging, causing minor injuries and 1400 AUD in damages to the user’s hotel room.
The Australian airline ban is another stain on Samsung’s reputation, but it’s relatively minor compared to the embarrassment that a similar ban could cause in the United States. According to a statement sent to Gizmodo, the US Federal Aviation Administration is “working on guidance related to the issue.”
“If the device is recalled by the manufacturer, airline crew and passengers will not be able to bring recalled batteries or electronics that contain recalled batteries in the cabin of an aircraft, or in carry-on and checked baggage.”
The situation is not very clear, because Samsung isn’t actually conducting an official recall, to the chagrin of consumer advocacy organization Consumer Reports. It’s not clear whether the FAA was talking about an official recall that requires the involvement of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission or Samsung’s own recall, which is currently underway.