With Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 now officially classified as ‘forbidden hazardous material‘ and too dangerous to be taken on board aircraft, the company has begun rolling out an international airport exchange program. CNET reports that the company plans to offer the trade-in standards at major airports around the world.

After setting up exchange booths in South Korea’s Incheon airport, Samsung is now spreading the initiative across the world, announcing trade-in booths in airports across Australia. The customer service booths will allow passengers to switch out their recalled Galaxy Note 7 (along with the data on it) to another Samsung device […] The company also says it’s working to set up trade-in stands at other airports around the world.

ABC7News notes that one of the booths has been spotted in the USA, ahead of the security checkpoints at San Francisco airport …

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A rapid U.S. rollout would certainly be a good idea given that owners may turn up for flights unaware that the FAA has prohibited them from all aircraft, whether in the cabin or the hold.

No details have been reported on which devices are being offered in exchange, but at SFO at least customers are also being offered the option of a refund.

Samsung still hasn’t identified the root cause of the fires that led to a complete recall of both original and replacement devices, but one factor may be the way that batteries were tested prior to launch. Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, who have their batteries safety-tested by independent certified labs, Samsung used its own lab. While the in-house lab was itself certified, concerns have been raised about conflicts of interest when testing its own products.

A last-minute airport exchange wouldn’t be the ideal approach given the time constraints, but is certainly better than the alternative faced by some travellers unaware of the ban: throw away the device or abandon their travel plans.

Photo: Sergio Quintana

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