After two recalls over exploding batteries, the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now officially banned from U.S. airline flights.
The Galaxy Note 7 has sparked great controversy recently amid mounting reports of fires and injuries caused by the defective device. Samsung tried to fix the issues after the first recall, but shortly after putting the phablet back on the market, it was forced to issue a second recall.
Because you're not allowed to carry any explosive materials onboard a flight, it's hardly a surprise that the hot Galaxy Note 7 will be banned from all U.S. airline flights. The Department of Transportation (DoT) officially announced the decision.
The ban follows Samsung's announcement earlier this week that it stopped Galaxy Note 7 production altogether.
Banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from U.S. flights means that the device will not be allowed on board even if it's turned off, which is a major escalation from previous restrictions. So far, the Galaxy Note 7 has raised in-flight concerns but has not been banned outright — passengers were simply prohibited from turning on or charging the device while on a plane.
After two recalls, however, it's clear that the issue is serious, and it has escalated to the point that the DoT doesn't want the Galaxy Note 7 on a plane at all. As dramatic as this escalation may seem, it was expected.
The emergency order to ban the Galaxy Note 7 from all U.S. air transportation means that device owners cannot transport the Galaxy Note 7 on their person, in carry-on luggage or in checked baggage. The ban applies to flights both to and from the United States and goes into effect on Saturday, Oct. 15, at noon EST. The DoT also prohibits shipping the Galaxy Note 7 as air cargo.
"We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority," says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "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."
"The fire hazard with the original Note7 and with the replacement Note7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall," adds CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye.
Samsung, for its part, has yet to detail just what exactly is causing the device to catch fire, but it's possible the company has not found the cause just yet. An explanation as to why the Galaxy Note 7 kept exploding is expected in the coming weeks.
For those who were still undecided whether to return the Galaxy Note 7 or not, the Galaxy Note 7 flight ban might make the choice easier. Who wants to travel and leave their smartphone at home?