US bans Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones from airliners

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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. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

An emergency warning came Friday to Samsung Galaxy Note7 users. The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering passengers to ground their phones and going as far as banning the devices from all US airports.

Samsung has already recalled 2.5 million phones saying there is a battery manufacturing error. That error is apparently the cause of fires and explosions across the country, most recently on a Southwest Airlines flight.

Walk into Fresno-Yosemite International Airport and warnings about the dangers of Samsung Galaxy Note7 are virtually unavoidable.

"It's at the gate, it's at security," passenger Nick Paster said. "It's when you are boarding the plane."

"Next thing you know, within a week hey you have to return your phone it's been blowing up," Samsung user David Fierro said. "And I'm like, 'It's been blowing up?'"

The FAA came out Friday labeling the phone forbidden hazardous material. It's now another reason Fierro said is pushing him to surrender his Galaxy Note.

"Now I'm going to have to return it again and I'm not a happy camper," he said.

Since its August release, the Galaxy Note7 has had over 100 reports of batteries overheating. At least one phone caught fire while another exploded. The FAA announced Friday it is banning the devices on all US flights.

"They are not allowed in carry-on bags, in checked bags, or on an individual," Vikkie Calderon with the Fresno Yosemite International Airport said. "So, they are absolutely going to be prohibited onboard an aircraft."

Until now, passengers could bring their phones but had to keep them powered down. Airlines will be responsible for enforcing the new order and passengers who disobey can be fined or even jailed.

"You don't want any accidents up there," Fierro said. "Because when there is an accident up there you can't go anywhere."

While users say they're glad safety is being taken seriously, it's hard to overlook the inconvenience. And Fierro said, unfortunately, he's done giving second chances.

"It's a shame because I like Samsung, I like the Note," he said. "But I won't be keeping it anytime soon."
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