Air NZ puts total ban on Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Air NZ has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from all aircraft.
Air NZ has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from all aircraft.

Air New Zealand is banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from its aircraft, after reports the devices were catching fire and, in some cases, exploding.

The national carrier is placing a total ban on the phones from 5am, following a decision by the United States Department of Transportation to ban them from all US aeroplanes.

Air New Zealand said the devices can neither be carried on, nor checked in with luggage.

"Air New Zealand is strongly advising travellers not to bring these devices to the airport with them," a statement said.

"They cannot be accepted for travel and there is no storage facility available for them at our check in areas."

The ban follows the directive of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).

Air New Zealand has also consulted with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority about the problematic mobile devices, which were released in August.

Airlines have not allowed passengers to operate or charge their Note 7 phones for weeks. And a smoking Galaxy Note 7 forced a Southwest Airlines flight to evacuate earlier this month.

A 13-year-old girl on the flight to Baltimore said she felt a burning sensation on her thumb while holding the phone, which had significant smoke damage, burn marks and a melted cover, Eyewitness News 5 reported.

The phones were recalled on September 2, and Samsung has since discontinued the phone and offered full refunds or exchanges to anyone who still has one.

The Korean company has said the discontinuation will cost it about US$3 billion in the current and coming quarters, raising total costs from the recalls to at least $5.3b.

On September 17, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the phones, saying batteries were linked to "26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage."

In one instance, a car was "fully engulfed in flames" after a phone caught fire. In another, a man sued the South Korean company after allegedly suffering severe burns on his right thigh and left thumb when his phone exploded.

And a Kentucky man told WDRB TV that he "woke up Tuesday morning because of a hissing sound" and discovered his bedroom filled with smoke coming from a replacement Galaxy 7 a week after he got it.

- Additional reporting AP and Washington Post

- NZ Herald

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