FAA Keeping a Wary Eye on Galaxy Note 7

Hugo Fonck/Correspondent

Following the cessation of sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, the FAA promptly released a message strongly advising passengers who own the phone “not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.” The reason behind this has been the highly-documented overheating risk tied to the Note 7’s battery, which has led to some phones smoking and even catching fire. Many have taken to social media to document the widespread outreach of this event in aviation, with some even documenting flight attendants issuing safety warnings on flights where passengers could have the device.

The message from the FAA coincides with similar announcements by the European Air Safety Agency. Airlines are continuing the conversation by following suit with their own independent statements, with messages highly similar to those of the FAA being released by airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, American, Delta, United, Southwest, Virgin America, and Emirates. All airlines and governing bodies so far have officially stated that the phone itself is not banned from being onboard aircraft and no statements from the FAA or any airline have ordered any specific action.

These messages add fuel to the PR fire that Samsung is negotiating while also battling Apple as it releases its updated iPhone 7 this past week with strong sales and trending positive reviews. Samsung has officially recalled a portion of the Note 7 inventory that was sold before a given date and has set up a wide-reaching battery replacement program in hopes of safely checking and replacing the current market of phones out in the consumer world. The world will continue to watch in the coming weeks as this scandal will continue to develop either with new events and details or will wind down with the preventative steps Samsung is taking start to have a far-reaching market effect.