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Passengers with Samsung’s ‘fire risk’ smartphone face fines as more airlines ban devices

by October 19, 2016 General

A growing number of airlines are banning Samsung’s beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 from flights due to fears that the devices could cause a mid-flight fire.

Taking the defective devices on board an aircraft is already a federal crime in the US after the Federal Aviation Authority banned the smartphones from flights. Passengers flouting the ban face fines of up to $179,933 – and even prison time.  

Samsung has recalled more than two million Galaxy Note 7s after users reported defects with the lithium-ion batteries, which have been causing the smartphone to combust.

The charred remains of a Galaxy Note 7, which spontaneously combusted

The charred remains of a Galaxy Note 7, which spontaneously combusted CREDIT: EDGAR SU

Following the US Federal Aviation Authority’s ban, Japan’s transport ministry ordered the country’s airlines – including Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways – to prohibit travellers from bringing the devices onto flights. Hong Kong International Airport also barred travellers from carrying the devices on incoming and outgoing flights.

Travellers caught flouting the ban in Japan will have their smartphones confiscated and could face fines.

Other airlines have followed the US and Japan’s lead. Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Virgin and Air New Zealand have all barred the smartphones, along with AirItalia, Air Berlin, AirAsia, China Airlines and EVA Air.