On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on all flights in the U.S., as reported by Gizmodo The decision comes on the heels of numerous phones bursting into flames and Samsung’s decision to put a kibosh on the production of the smartphone.
The Federal Aviation Administration had initially asked passengers to simply turn their Note 7s off during flights, but with 1.9 million smartphones already sold, it’s not entirely safe to assume everyone will comply with the request. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the ban may irritate some passengers, but they are taking a precaution with the decision:
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”
Fires and recalls have caused headaches for the company, but the bottom line may be the most frustrating, as USA Today reports how the recalls will cost Samsung $5.3 billion. FAA officials told Gizmodo they will not be specifically searching for Note 7s at checkpoints, but if they see one, they will deal with it under new guidelines:
“In the event, the phones are banned, our officers would not be searching for the phones. If in the course of their normal duties, they encounter one at the checkpoint, they would inform the owner that the phone is not allowed on the aircraft and direct the passenger to leave the checkpoint and come back without the phone. If discovered in checked baggage, it would be turned over to the airline.”
One airline has already dealt with a Note 7 issue, as earlier this month a Southwest Airlines flight had to be evacuated after a Note 7 began smoking.