SIA, other airlines ban Note7 on flights

A burned Samsung Note 7 smartphone that began smoking inside a Southwest Airlines plane on Oct 5, 2016.
A burned Samsung Note 7 smartphone that began smoking inside a Southwest Airlines plane on Oct 5, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and several other international carriers have grounded the troubled Samsung Galaxy Note7, preventing passengers from carrying the phone on board, after a spate of battery explosions that triggered a global recall.

The flag carrier said on Facebook yesterday that the smartphone cannot be taken on board in carry-on or checked-in luggage, with effect from today.

"The smartphone also cannot be shipped as air cargo. Anyone found in possession of the device will be denied boarding," said SIA.

The South Korean conglomerate has recalled all its Note7 handsets, including replacements, after receiving complaints worldwide of exploding batteries and fires, which have led to injuries in some cases.

Mere hours after SIA's announcement, Samsung Singapore said it is offering Note7 owners, who will be travelling on planes, courtesy phones. They can be obtained from the Samsung Customer Service Centre at Westgate or the Samsung Exper- ience Store at Changi Airport Terminal 3 (departure/transit lounge). "We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused and are working hard to expedite the exchange/refund programme in Singapore," the Samsung Singapore statement said.

At least three other airlines in the region, Qantas Airways and its subsidiary Jetstar Airways, as well as Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday also said they were blocking the Note7 from their flights with effect from today.

This follows a similar emergency order issued on Friday by the United States, which restricts passengers from carrying Note7 phones on flights.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'SIA, other airlines ban Note7 on flights'. Print Edition | Subscribe