Qatar Airways and UAE Airlines ban Galaxy Note 7 as ‘checked baggage’

Qatar Airways has imposed restrictions on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as a “device in checked baggage” following the recall of the personal electronic device, which are prone to catch fire. A Reuters’ dispatch on Saturday said top airlines globally had banned their use during flights, which included carriers from the GCC region.

Samsung has confirmed that it will recall around a million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones
Samsung has confirmed that it will recall around a million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones

In a travel alert issued on Saturday, Qatar Airways said, “Following the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device, passengers that own these devices are requested to keep them switched off and unplugged during flight. In addition, we are unable to accept this device in checked baggage. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”

Following reports that the phones’ batteries have combusted during charging and normal use, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said it was working on an official recall of the devices and that users should turn them off in the meantime. Samsung Electronics said it was working with the agency and asked customers to immediately turn in their Note 7 phones. It voluntarily issued a recall last week for 10 markets, including South Korea and the United States, and said it was expediting shipments of replacement phones to customers in the United States.

Aviation authorities and airlines from North America to Europe and Asia have issued bans or guidance on the phones, Reuters said. On September 8, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said travellers should not use or charge them while in the air, or stow them in checked luggage. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) banned passengers from using Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on board the country’s airlines, following a recall of the devices because of a battery fire hazard.

The UAE civil aviation authority chief, Saif al-Suwaidi, said the ban covers using, charging and stowing the devices in checked luggage. “This is a precautionary measure to guarantee aircraft safety,” al-Suwaidi was quoted as saying by news agency dpa.

Emirates, a major UAE state airline, said the ban would start with immediate effect. Some other carriers around the world have already warned passengers not to bring the Galaxy Note 7 phones on board.