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If you’ve traveled through a US airport recently, you’ve probably heard a gate agent making a pre-boarding announcement explaining that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is banned by the FAA on all US commercial and cargo flights in both carry-on and checked luggage. The ban came after several airlines blacklisted the device due to concerns of the phone catching fire — which is exactly what happened on one Southwest plane. At one point, some airlines even gave out ‘fire-containment’ bags to store the device during flight.
As of this week, gate agents are no longer required to announce it to passengers before the boarding process. The FAA cites “the high degree of public awareness of the ban since issuance of the emergency restriction/prohibition order, as well as the extensive efforts by Samsung and U.S. wireless providers to make all Note7 users aware the phone is recalled and banned from transport on U.S. aircraft” as its reasoning for removing the required announcement.
While the ban will remain in place, according to the FAA’s press release, Samsung has successfully received 96% of all recalled Note 7 devices in the US, and US cellular carriers have pushed out a firmware update from Samsung that renders all remaining devices unable to charge, making them essentially useless.
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