U.S. bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from airliners

Samsung Note 7

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Department is issuing an emergency order banning passengers and flight crews from bringing Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones on airline flights, in response to reports of the phones catching fire.

The order goes into effect Saturday at noon eastern time. It says the phones may not be carried on board or packed in checked bags on flights to and from the United States or within the country. The phones are classified as “forbidden hazardous material” and cannot be shipped as air cargo.

“If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, they will be denied boarding,” the department said in a statement.

“Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident. Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.”

Samsung recalled more than 2.5 million of the smartphones and discontinued the product earlier this week.

Numerous fires have been reported, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month.