Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones banned on US airplanes

FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service said that the phones will not be allowed on their planes and there are restrictions on when their trucks will be allowed to carry the phones. (KTRK)

The Transportation Department is issuing an emergency order banning passengers and flight crews from bringing Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones on airline flights in response to reports of the phones catching fire.

The order goes into effect Saturday at noon eastern time. It says the phone may not be carried on board or packed in checked bags on flights to and from the United States or within the country. The phones also can't be shipped as air cargo.

The department says passengers who attempt to travel with the phones will have the phones confiscated and may face fines.

Samsung recalled more than 2.5 million of the smartphones and discontinued the product earlier this week.

Numerous fires have been reported, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW (Information from the DOT):

If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, the phones may be confiscated and passengers may face fines.

Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident. Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.

Passengers currently traveling with Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones should contact Samsung or their wireless carrier immediately to obtain information about how to return their phones and arrange for a refund or a replacement phone. Samsung has provided guidance for customers about refund and replacement options, as well as how to contact wireless carriers, at Samsung is also answering customers' questions at 1-844-365-6197.

If an airline representative observes that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Note7 device prior to boarding an aircraft, the air carrier must deny boarding to the passenger unless and until the passenger divests themselves and their carry-on and checked baggage of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 device. Passengers absolutely should not pack the phones in their checked luggage.

If a flight crew member identifies that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device while the aircraft is in flight, the crew member must instruct the passenger to power off the device, not use or charge the device while aboard the aircraft, protect the device from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and keep the device on their person and not in the overhead compartment, seat back pocket, nor in any carry-on baggage, for the duration of the flight.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.
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