Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is a festival to celebrate three days of remembering the dead. Today's costume parties and trick-and-treating trips is believed to stem back from pagan rituals, which were adopted by Western and Christian nations and amalgamated into existing festivals. Today for many people it means an opportunity to dress up, perhaps as something scary or perhaps as something we might never ordinarily get away with, and go about our day as normal. For many workers in the retail and customer services industries, this is an opportunity to have some lighthearted fun with customers – even if sometimes people can take offense at our costumes.
And so it is the case with Southwest Airlines, where as many readers will remember, this is where one one of the first recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices started smoking. The incident happened whilst a Southwest Airlines aircraft was still taxiing in preparation for takeoff and the Galaxy Note 7 was one that had been replaced by Samsung, so at the time was believed to have had the battery defect issue resolved. Although at the time of writing, Samsung have not confirmed the exact underlying issue with the Galaxy Note 7's battery, the problem with the device is that the separate battery components were being mixed and this was causing a thermal runaway: in other words, an internal short circuit within the device was causing a chemical reaction, which in turn was causing an explosion or fire. Ultimately, a small number of days after the Southwest Airline incident occurred, Samsung pulled the Galaxy Note 7 from sale around the world, stopped production and started the process or recalling all devices. Following this, Samsung has a 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 stockpile to be recycled.
It seems that the smoking Galaxy Note 7 made a mark on at least one Southwest Airlines employee, and she decided to dress up as the smoking smartphone to celebrate Halloween. At least some airport visitors found this amusing and a photograph was tweeted by Twitter user and presumably Southwest customer @heathwblack, showing the fancy dress costume. It's not known if airline staff allowed the lady onto the flight, remembering that the Galaxy Note 7 has been banned from all flights (passenger and freight) and rail travel (AMTRAK have also banned the Galaxy Note 7) and is instead condemned to ground shipping and travel only. Currently, Samsung do not appear to have responded to this story and there remains the risk that they will contact news websites carrying the story to have it taken down, although perhaps the costume was in reality to raise awareness of the dangers of the Galaxy Note 7?