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Passengers at Risk of Criminal Prosecution, if Found Travelling with Newly Released Smartphone

The newly released Samsung Galaxy Note7’s have now been banned by The U.S. Department of Travel, due to health and safety risks, after some customers reported that their devices exploded.

The device, which was only revealed on August 2nd, had been already banned from Airlines including, Virgin Australia, AirAsia, Qantas, Singapore Air, and Jetstar.

Since finding out that the device has exploding issues with its batteries, the maker of the device, Korean brand Samsung, put out a global recall, later issuing their affected customers with replacement smartphones. However, many customers have now come forward stating that even their replacements have problems, with overheating being a main issue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has branded the device as “forbidden hazardous material.”

Warnings were previously issued to travellers by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), strongly advising them to make sure their Note7’s were turned off throughout the duration of the flight, and not charged.

Anthony Foxx, Transportation Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, said: We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority.”

He continued: “We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”

In an update to their latest news page, Virgin Atlantic said: “As a result of the emergency order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Virgin Atlantic advises all customers who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device that they will not be able to travel with it on any Virgin Atlantic flights - whether on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage.

“If airport staff observe that a customer is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device prior to boarding an aircraft, that customer will be denied boarding unless they can make arrangements for the device to be taken home or left with a family member.”

The ban was brought into effect by the airline on Saturday (15th October), which prohibits all Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices on board their flights.

Virgin Atlantic warn that any passengers found to be in possession of the smartphone could be subject to criminal prosecution: “Customers travelling to, from or within the US, who are found to be violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines by the U.S Department of Transportation.”

The device has now been discontinued by Samsung.