Australian airlines ban Galaxy Note 7 use on flights

Three Australian carriers have banned passengers from using or charging Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on flights due to fears over the explosion hazard they pose.

Qantas, its budget unit Jetstar, and Virgin Australia said the move was a precautionary measure and did not stem from directions from aviation authorities. Samsung has issued a recall of the phones in 10 markets.

Although customers could still bring the phones  on flights, the ban extended to the phones being plugged in to flight entertainment systems where USB ports were available.

The recall follows reports of fire incidents while charging which have considerably embarrassed Samsung.

The company had been banking on the devices to power its recovery in the mobile business.

"We are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them in flight," Qantas told Reuters in a statement.

According to commentators, more airlines might follow suit and the FAA was also said to be considering its options.

A spokesman told Gizmodo by email that "if the device is recalled by the manufacturer, airline crew and passengers will not be able to bring recalled batteries or electronics that contain recalled batteries in the cabin of an aircraft, or in carry-on and checked baggage."

Meanwhile, commentators, point out that though Samsung had recalled the phones it did not go about it the usual way. Instead of approaching the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it had recalled the product by itself.

Consumer advocacy site, Consumer Reports specifically faulted Samsung for failing to keep the CPSC in the loop. According to Recode the CPSC was considering making it more official.

According to commentators, given the recall and sales of the device were stopped only two weeks after being shipped, the ban would not affect too many people.

They add, though it was good that the airlines had blocked the usage of phones on their own, while Samsung had created much confusion by not following the normal procedure and authorities in the US and elsewhere needed to consider stepping in.