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Galaxy Note 7 banned from use on airplanes over fire hazard

The USA’s chief aviation authority has warned against using the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on airplanes due to a fire risk, as several airlines move to ban the new phone.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a stark statement that “strongly” advises Galaxy Note 7 users to keep their phones completely switched off during flight. The announcement comes just days after Samsung issued a global recall of the new smartphone after discovering that a battery fault was causing some units to spontaneously combust.

Here’s an excerpt from the FAA’s statement:

“In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”

The page goes on to describe the risks of hazardous materials like lithium batteries, explaining how vibrations, static electric, and variations in temperature and pressure can “cause items to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode”. However, the FAA has not yet advised against transporting the phones on airplanes, so you can still keep it in your hand luggage – for now, anyway.

According to The Register, three Australian airlines have already banned the use of the device in-flight, specifically Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Tiger Airways.

An Easyjet spokesperson told TrustedReviews that the airline has the situation “under review” and is “in touch with the authorities”. British Airways responded as follows: “We’re still considering our policy on this and we’ll come back to you as soon as we have more information/a statement.” Ryanair did not immediately respond for comment. Virgin Atlantic’s press team was unavailable to talk.

The Galaxy Note 7 is Samsung’s latest smartphone, and was unveiled on August 2. On September 2, Samsung issued a global recall of the phone to deal with reports of exploding batteries, following an internal investigation. Demand for the phone has reportedly been high, but high customer interest and battery issues have created delays in most markets.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

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