HolidayBuyer's Guide

Galaxy Note 7 airport exchange program goes international

The exchange booths first appeared in South Korea to let travellers switch out their recalled Note 7 before flying, and now they're spreading around the world.

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Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

If you somehow missed two global Galaxy Note 7 recalls, the photos of exploded phones on the nightly news, the text messages from your carrier and the push notifications being sent direct to your phone -- all telling you to power off the device and return it -- you'll now have another option for ditching your Note 7 before you board a plane.

Samsung has officially halted production on the Note 7 due to problems with exploding batteries, and now flying with the device (whether it's on or off, in checked luggage or carry-on) is prohibited on a number of major airlines across Australia, the US and around the world.

After setting up exchange booths in South Korea's Incheon airport, Samsung is now spreading the initiative across the world, announcing trade-in booths in airports across Australia. The customer service booths will allow passengers to switch out their recalled Galaxy Note 7 (along with the data on it) to another Samsung device.

The booths will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time at "high-traffic" terminals:

  • Sydney Airport (Kingsford Smith)
  • Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine)
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Adelaide Airport
  • Perth Airport
  • Gold Coast Airport
  • Canberra Airport (open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

The company also says it's working to set up trade-in stands at other airports around the world.

The help desks will catch customers who have missed news of the flight ban on the Note 7, or travellers from overseas who have been unable to return their phone to the place of purchase but can now no longer fly home with it.

It's worth noting that the service desks should probably be your last resort. The idea of turning up to the airport and having to switch devices right before a flight is certainly this tech writer's worst nightmare. All those apps to log back into! Your offline Spotify playlists and podcasts! Setting up two-factor authentication all over again!

Before you even think about flying, Samsung is advising customers to return their Note 7 to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange.

But if you've missed the global news flash, at least now you'll still be able to fly.

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