Grounded: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 banned on all US flights

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is banned from all aircraft in the US beginning Saturday, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced, citing the severe safety risk posed by the fire-prone phone. 

The DOT order, issued in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration and Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, prohibits travelers from bringing the Note 7 onto an airplane either on their person, in carry-on luggage or in checked baggage. 

The ban extends to flights to, from and within the US, and the phone cannot be transported as air cargo. 

Effective from noon Eastern time on October 15, the ban covers all Note 7s, whether original or replacement. Samsung halted production of the phone earlier this week, and is in the midst of a second recall.

In response to the DOT ban, Samsung issued this statement: 

"Samsung, together with carriers, is working to communicate the US Department of Transportation’s new order to ban all Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights. We have encouraged airlines to issue similar communications directly to their passengers. 

"Any Galaxy Note7 owner should visit their carrier and retail store to participate in the US Note7 Refund and Exchange Program now. We realize this is an inconvenience but your safety has to remain our top priority."

Not messing around

If anyone hasn't returned their Note 7 - which they really should - and are caught trying to bring the device onboard a plane, they could face serious consequences, including fines and criminal prosecution.

Airline carriers will also prevent passengers from boarding if they're spotted with a Note 7 prior to entering aircraft. If a passenger is found with a Note 7 in flight, crew members will instruct them to power it down and essentially monitor the device during the duration.

The DOT flatly says not to pack the Note 7 in checked baggage because of the immense safety threat, so just don't do it, alright?

If you're currently traveling with a Note 7, the agency says to get in touch with Samsung or your wireless carrier right away to learn how to return the phone and get set up with a refund or replacement device. You can call Samsung at 1-800-SAMSUNG or head to the company's dedicated US recall page

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.