Airlines Verbally Warning Passengers To Not Use Samsung Note 7 During Flights

Image courtesy of Reddit

Days after the Federal Aviation Administration put out a statement asking passengers not to use or charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on a plane following reports of exploding and smoking devices, some travelers say airlines are taking additional steps to ensure those devices are turned off. 

Passengers flying on American Airlines and Lufthansa reported on social media that the carriers verbally asked travelers to power off and stow the potentially volatile devices, Gizmodo reports.

While the FAA is asking Note 7 users to avoid using or charging their device while on planes, the agency can’t issue an outright ban on the phone because the Note 7 has yet to be officially recalled by Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Still, Mike Isaac, a reporter for The New York Times, Tweeted Sunday that American Airlines gave the verbal instructions before takeoff.

Another passenger replied that he too had been informed by American Airlines not to use or keep a Galaxy Note device on during the trip.

A search of Twitter found that other airlines, including Lufthansa, had begun warning passengers to keep the devices off.

American Airlines and Lufthansa join international carriers Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines in now warning travelers not to turn on or charge the defective phones on flights.

While several domestic airlines said they would comply with the FAA directive, it wasn’t clear how that message would be relayed to passengers: simple warnings or a seat-by-seat check of travelers’ phones.

It’s still unclear how an all-out ban on the devices would work for airlines: Would security screeners be tasked with looking at individual passengers’ phones? Would flight attendants take inventory of the phones during safety demonstrations?

Either way, universal action from domestic airlines likely won’t happen until an actual product recall is announced.

Batteries recalled for safety reasons are automatically banned in carry-on or checked luggage on flights. For that to happen, the CPSC is going to have to keep working with Samsung to issue the recall, which the company informally announced before Labor Day weekend but has yet to finalize. The CPSC can try to force a recall through the legal system, but if a company resists it can result in lengthy delays.

Samsung has already announced an exchange program for the Note 7, and last week confirmed changes to the packaging so consumers will be able to discern the new phones from the ones that will, eventually, be recalled.

Airlines Now Verbally Warning Passengers Not to Use Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on the Plane [Gizmodo]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.