Travelers encounter Samsung Galaxy Note 7 ban on flights

Ban on Samsung Galaxy Note7 in effect at Honolulu International Airport
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Travelers at Honolulu International Airport are going through security with new rules in place: No Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones allowed on any U.S. flight.

"The devices are not allowed on the person, not allowed in your carry-on, not allowed in your checked bag and not allowed as cargo," said Ann Botticelli, Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman.

TSA agents will confiscate the phones and owners could be fined. Hiding one in checked luggage may prompt criminal charges.

"It's really important that nobody shows up at the airport with these devices," Botticelli said.

The new rule went into effect Saturday, a day after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order banning the smartphones, which are known to overheat and pose safety risks.

A Kalihi couple found out first hand how the defective phones can spontaneously ignite. Their home surveillance system caught it all on camera.

The federal ban comes just days after Samsung officially ended production of the Note 7 and announced an expanded global recall.

Hawaii News Now spoke to some concerned passengers.

"I'll feel a lot better if the government intervened and made sure these devices got back to Samsung to be either fixed or refurbished or whatever it takes," said Nelson Chen.

"I would like everyone to switch to an iPhone because it would make my life easier," said another air traveler Justin Yentes.

Meanwhile, at the Moanalua AT&T store, workers are keeping busy assisting with returns.

"We definitely have had a lot of fluctuation in customers where everybody is just trying to get rid of it and no one really wants to deal with that," said AT&T employee Roberto Bautista.

Reyn Nagamine says he's been a loyal Samsung customer for years, but will now consider other options.

"I want to change it out in case I travel in the next few months or so, I don't want to be restricted to staying here just because of my phone," he said.

If you own a Galaxy Note 7 device, click here for refund and exchange information.

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