In a blow to smartphone giant Samsung, and a scare for a plane full of passengers, Southwest flight 994 last night was evacuated when a Galaxy Note 7 overheated and began smoking. According to USA Today’s report, the phone in question was a replacement for the owner’s original phone, which was among 1 million Note 7s recalled and replaced because of overheating batteries. The replacement phone was supposed to be the fix. Apparently it wasn’t.
Predictably, Samsung wasn’t rushing to assume responsibility for the latest mishap. The company’s statement:
Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note 7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.
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Samsung is now in the embarrassing and vulnerable position of having to issue a second recall. And it comes at a particularly sensitive time, when the company is depending on the Note 7 to keep Samsung in the sales race against Apple’s newly released iPhone 7.
For Note 7 owners who are traveling by air, until this latest incident has been thoroughly investigated, it’s probably wise to adhere to the FAA’s warning about the original batch of overheating-prone phones:
In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.
Reader Reality Check
iPhone 7, anyone?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.