Traveling with a Galaxy Note 7? Samsung will swap it at the airport

Trade it in before you fly

By now you probably know the Galaxy Note 7 is banned on all US flights, but for those who still come to the airport with the fire-prone phone, Samsung has cooked up a solution. 

The firm is setting up exchange stations at some airports to swap customers' Note 7s before they take to the friendly skies. While Samsung has announced these "customer service points" at "high-traffic terminals" inside Australian airports, CNET reports booths have also popped up at an airport in South Korea. 

What's more, ABC 7 News out of the Bay Area spotted stations at the San Francisco International Airport right before security checkpoints. 

When we asked about the booths, a Samsung spokesperson sent us this statement: 

"We are providing support to Galaxy Note7 owners by exchanging their devices or refunding them in a wide range of places, including at some of the most  frequently visited airports around the country [United States]. 

"These on-site reps are there to help customers with last minute travel support and can be located by calling the Galaxy Note7 hotline at 1-844-365-6197. But we urge all Galaxy Note7 owners to exchange their device or obtain a refund before they arrive at their airport. We know this is an inconvenience to our customers but their safety has to remain our top priority."

Samsung reps at the stations will transfer data from your Galaxy Note 7 to another device, meaning you won't lose your 2,337 vacation photos. You will, however, lose your Note 7. 

Given that passengers who try to bring the twice-recalled phone onto planes face possible fines or criminal prosecution, exchanging their Note 7 is probably an acceptable alternative.  

The booths seem aimed at assisting travelers who aren't aware of the Note 7 flight ban, which was announced last Friday, or who weren't able to exchange their device before flying. 

We've yet to hear if Samsung plans to roll out exchange stations at more international airports or for how long they'll be operational, but we'll provide an update if those details become available. 

  • Need advice on how to return your Galaxy Note 7? Let us help


Senior News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.