New York, Oct 15 (IANS) Concerned over battery explosion fears, the US federal agencies have banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from airplanes across the country.
The devices cannot be carried on flights to, from or within the US, travellers cannot put them in checked baggage and Note 7 cannot be shipped as air freight, the Los Angeles Times cited the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, as saying.
“We recognise that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
Passengers who try to take their Galaxy Note 7 phones aboard aircraft may be forced to relinquish their devices and may face fines, the agencies said.
After suspending the sale and production of Note 7 this week, Samsung advised the device owners to stop using it — both original and the replaced one.
South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics has estimated that it will lose 3.5 trillion won ($ 3 billion) in operating profits over the next six months due to the withdrawal of Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
“Several US airlines had begun packing extra fire equipment on planes to deal with potential explosions by the phones and other devices powered by lithium-ion batteries,” the report added.
Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Delta Air Lines added fire-resistant containment bags to their onboard equipment in case of a mid-flight fire.
The carriers said they have also trained flight attendants to use the bags.
The South Korean conglomerate began selling the phone on August 19 this year, but in September announced an unprecedented withdrawal following reports of more than thirty cases of combustion by terminals in multiple countries.
In the recall affecting about 2.5 million phones, the company proceeded in mid-September to deliver replaced phones, but the new batch continued to suffer from battery overheating, ultimately resulting in the definitive withdrawal of the product.