As Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 recall picks up speed, with retailers and carriers taking in and replacing phones, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has officially recommended that travelers not use or charge Note 7s on flights. Going a step further, the FAA says that you shouldn't put a Note 7 in your checked luggage either — bring it with you on board, but turn it off, is the message.
The recommendation follows a Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S. where thousands of Note 7s likely took flight, even after the recall was initiated. Three different airlines in Australia have also put in place a "ban" of sorts on bringing Note 7s on planes over fear of fires or explosions.
The FAA's full statement reads:
In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.
Phones catching fire on planes isn't anything new or particularly uncommon (insofar as it also happens to phones back on the ground). But in light of Samsung acknowledging that it has an issue with Note 7 components that can lead to just that, it makes sense that the FAA would put out such a notice. It does land in an odd grey area, though — the FAA isn't attempting to outright ban passengers from bringing Note 7s on board, it's just making a smart recommendation.
Our recommendation, as ever, is to just return your Note 7 and get a replacement phone. It's inconvenient, for sure, but Samsung is offering to give you a phone that no longer has the faulty battery components and you should take it. The little bit of hassle is worth it to not have to worry about these sorts of things — whether you're flying or not.