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It's illegal to use Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 on a plane, says FAA

Now that the Samsung recall is official, the Federal Aviation Administration says the phones can't be used on aircraft.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
Watch this: The Galaxy Note 7 is the "hoverboard" of 2016

Are you, or someone you know, still hanging on to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone -- despite the explosion risk? Here's the latest reason to switch: It's now illegal to use a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 aboard an aircraft under FAA jurisdiction.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a safety advisory Friday, reminding airlines and passengers that federal regulations prohibit transporting lithium-ion batteries that are defective or have been recalled. It also said passengers can't use or charge such devices powered by such batteries.

Or, in plain English: Now that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has formally approved Samsung's decision to recall all these phones, it's also formally illegal to use them on a plane.

More specifically, the FAA is asking that passengers:

  • Turn off the device.
  • Disconnect the device from any charging equipment.
  • Disable all applications that could inadvertently activate the phone (e.g., alarm clock).
  • Protect the power switch to prevent its unintentional activation.
  • Keep the device in carry-on baggage or on your person. (Do not place in checked baggage.)

Many airlines had already banned passengers from using or charging the Galaxy Note 7 shortly after Samsung announced its voluntary recall. Last week the FAA strongly urged the public not to use the devices on planes. But now, everything's official, with the force of law behind it.

Return your Note 7. Exchange it. Just don't use it on a plane.