SAA bans ‘exploding’ Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on flights

South African Airways (SAA) has joined the growing list of airlines banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from its flights.

This follows an order from the US Department of Transportation issued on October 11 which gave airlines flying within its jurisdiction four days to ban the phones from planes because they posed a fire hazard.

AFP reported the US government initially said that passengers attempting to board planes with the phones might face fines‚ but later clarified that such passengers will simply not be allowed on planes.

“Passengers who try to evade the ban by packing the phone in their checked luggage may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines. Packing the phones in checked luggage increases the risk of a catastrophic incident‚” the department said.

The BBC reported on Sunday Air Berlin had banned the phones with immediate effect. Larger German rival Lufthansa had a ban on flights to the US‚ and was planning to impose the restriction across all flights.

“The Galaxy Note 7 device is prohibited completely and may not be carried by travellers on their persons‚ in carry-on baggage‚ in checked in baggage or as cargo‚” SAA said in a statement on Tuesday.

SAA said the International Air Transport Association (Iata) had asked its members to follow the US government’s advice regarding the phones.

Lithium batteries that have been recalled by the manufacturer for safety reasons must not be shipped by air. The Galaxy Note 7 is powered by lithium batteries and has since been recalled by the manufacturer‚ Iata said.

– TMG Digital/BusinessLive

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