Samsung representatives go to Houston airport to help out customers affected by phone travel ban

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Samsung reps are at some of the nation's busiest airports today following a total air travel ban on their latest phone.

Representatives can make exchanges, or help with getting a refund at the airport.

Bush Intercontinental is one of the airports where reps are being staged for the next few days.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 cannot be carried on a plane or placed in any baggage.

It's now a federal crime to try and board an aircraft with the phone, and a passenger could face serious consequences if they don't comply.

Passengers on flights today at Bush Intercontinental Airport say the ban is being addressed over the loudspeaker even once on the plane.

RELATED: U.S. regulators: Official recall of 1M Samsung Galazsy Note 7 phones

"They said there was a recall, and if you were found with the tablet on the plane you could be fined or be in prison," said passenger Michael Rugh.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 had a rough takeoff and has never recovered. First, a recall in September after heat and battery fires, and that was followed by a second recall of replacements after more issues.

Now, a total ban on the device for air travel is in place.

Jackie Matranga just returned from a trip to Miami. "A woman next to me actually had a Samsung and I got kind of nervous. I was like, I really hope that's not a Galaxy. You hear about it and you don't want anything bad to happen," she said.

"We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident in-flight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox.

"You can never tell what could happen up there. You don't want to get in there and it happen, there's no turning back," said another traveler, Alfonso Haggins.

Now, the phone is considered a forbidden hazardous material by the Department of Transportation and FAA.

"It is not searching for these phones at the checkpoint. If in the course of our screening officer's regular duties, they encounter one at the checkpoint, they would direct the passenger to leave the checkpoint and come back without the phone," according to the Transportation Security Administration.
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