The Federal Aviation Administration has now formally banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from being powered on during a flight, after the US CPSC posted a joint announcement with Samsung on September 15th issuing a formal recall of the device. The formal ban only prohibits passengers from having the device powered on during the flight, as well as storing the phone in checked luggage, however, passengers are allowed to keep the phone on their person for the duration of the flight as long as it's powered down. This follows a heavy recommendation from the FAA back on September 8th which suggested customers not use the device while flying.
The FAA ban is the latest formality regarding the Galaxy Note 7 following issues with the phone's battery overheating causing the device to explode, which is up to 92 issued reports in the U.S. alone, 25 of which include reported cases of burns, and 55 of which include reported cases of property damage. Naturally, the FAA's ban on the Galaxy Note 7 extends to charging the device on the plane as well. While keeping the phone powered off is simple enough if people choose to follow the rules, one element that passengers may not think about is the automatic power cycling that can happen on a smartphone. This can happen for more than a few reasons but a common situation that would cause the device to turn on by itself is in the case of an alarm that has been set. The FAA's official statement today also notes that passengers need to make sure that any such instance which could cause the phone to power on be disabled, whether that's an alarm or another app or service.
While the Galaxy Note 7 has only been on sale in the U.S. since August 19th, estimated sales of the device within the country are said to be at around 1.6 million units, and according to yesterday's CPSC recall around 130,000 of those have been returned, which means there are plenty of customers who are still holding onto their devices. Samsung has issued a formal statement as of yesterday which details replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices in the U.S. will be available no later than September 21st. Sprint has also officially announced they would be following this timeline for replacing customer devices.