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DOT Issues Emergency Ban on All Galaxy Note 7 Phones From Planes

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. Back in September, several Australian airlines banned the smartphone in response to reports of the phone’s battery exploding, and earlier this month a Note 7 actually caught fire on board a Southwest flight. Understandably this has both passengers and airlines concerned — some carriers have already started carrying fire-containment bags on board their aircraft — and now the Department of Transportation is taking things one step further.

In a statement issued today, the DOT announced an emergency ban of all Galaxy Note 7 devices from airplanes in the US:

Individuals who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device may not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States. This prohibition includes all Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices. The phones also cannot be shipped as air cargo.  The ban will be effective on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at noon ET.

So, starting tomorrow, if you have a Galaxy Note 7 (including a replacement Note 7 device), you won’t be able to bring it on any flights departing from or traveling to the US, either in your checked or carry-on luggage. And there will be consequences if you do attempt to bring this device on board: In its statement the DOT says this could result in fines, in addition to the phone possibly being confiscated.

The DOT’s decision is hardly a surprise given escalating reports of this phone’s risk as a fire hazard, and even if it does inconvenience Galaxy Note 7 owners, it’s certainly better to be safe than sorry in this case. If you do own a Note 7, contact Samsung about exchanging or refunding your device if you haven’t already.

Featured image courtesy of Brian Green.

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