In wake of the exploding battery snafu, multiple airlines tell phablet owners are told to keep their phones off
We love our phones enough that we can’t bear to be without them – even for the handful of hours traveling from A to B on a flight. If you refuse to put your handset into flight mode, you won’t bring the whole plane down, but you will annoy your pilot and destroy your battery life while the phone looks frantically for a phone tower to connect to.
But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – along with a number of independent airlines – aren’t prepared to take the risk with the Galaxy Note 7, which is understandable given the early models of the handset have the unfortunate tendency to explode, prompting Samsung to launch a worldwide recall.
“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 FAA said.
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Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have offered similar advice to customers, with Qantas “requesting that passengers who own [the devices] do not switch on or charge them in-flight.”
Is this move unprecedented? Not quite as the International Air Transportation Association states, Samsung are not the first company to have battery problems. “Although Samsung is the most recent company advising of faulty devices, others have issued similar recalls and warnings regarding lithium batteries in laptops over the last 12 months, so the industry is familiar with and equipped to manage such situations,” the IATA said.
All pretty embarrassing for Samsung, but they have acted in a pragmatic fashion by offering all customers a replacement Note 7 as a precaution. Though customers taking the company up on their offer will have to wait a couple of weeks for their replacement unit.
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