US outlaws Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights

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US outlaws Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights

Fines for passengers defying faulty phone ban.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone devices will be banned from aircraft in the United States under an emergency order issued by regulators after numerous reports of the devices catching fire.

The Korean electronics giant scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last week because of incidents where the phones began smoking or caught fire, dealing a huge blow to its reputation.

Samsung's decision came after reports of fires in replacement devices prompted a new round of warnings from regulators, phone carriers and airlines.

The order from the US Transportation Department and other agencies bars owners from carrying the devices onto planes or stowing them in checked baggage during flights.

"We recognise that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority," said 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 Transportation Department warned that passengers who packed the devices in checked luggage raised the risk of "a catastrophic incident".

"Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines," the department said in a press statement.

The agency said the phones might be confiscated from passengers attempting to take them onboard, and that people found onboard with the phones might face fines.

In another statement issued late on Friday, the department clarified that owners who attempt to travel by air with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices would only be "denied boarding".

The world's largest phone maker this week said it is also expanding a US recall of the fire-prone model to a total of 1.9 million Note 7 phones, including the 1 million Galaxy Note 7s it recalled on September 15.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday the Note 7's battery "can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazards to consumers".

It added that Samsung had received 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the United States, including 23 new reports since the September 15 recall announcement.

Airlines banning Galaxy Note 7

Outside the United States airlines around the world are already telling passengers that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not allowed airplanes, whether or not it's switched off.

Qantas, which had earlier allowed powered-down Note 7s on flights, has now banned the device completely. The ban applies to Qantas and subsidiary Jetstar as well.

Other carriers that have banned the Note 7 include Air NZ, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin, Tiger Air, with Israel and Indian authorities issuing decrees disallowing the device aboard flights.

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