PORT OF SPAIN – Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has joined aviation authorities and airlines around the world in banning the in-flight use and charging of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smart phones on all flights.
This follows reports of the device exploding during or after charging, and its recall by the manufacturers. CAL said the decision was based on a directive from the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA).
In a recent release, the regional carrier said the device could be taken on board the aircraft in a person’s carry-on luggage or on their person, but could not be used once on board. Passengers are also prohibited from storing the device in their checked luggage.
The airline stressed that the safety of its passengers and crew was its top priority.
Meanwhile, Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7, which was launched just last month, to turn the devices off and take them in for an exchange.
Samsung recalled 2.5 million phones last week after reports emerged of the dangerous defect. It said battery problems were behind the phones catching fire, but that it was difficult to work out which phones were affected among those sold.
The South Korean manufacturer of the devices said it would replace all phones that were handed in from September 19.
The statement from Samsung, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, said “until a replacement device is provided, Samsung asks all customers with a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to power down your device and return it to its place of purchase at your earliest opportunity.”
On-board use of the devices has been banned by civil aviation authorities and airlines in several countries including India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Australia and the Philippines.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also advised against packing the phones into any checked-in luggage.