Now that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is officially banned on airlines in the United States (and some other countries too), traveling across the globe with one of these devices has proven to be a bit of a nightmare.
The good news is that Samsung seems to be hearing your cries of travel woe and is setting up Galaxy Note 7 exchange booths at airports in various countries, in order to ensure no customer stupidly takes a dangerous device on-board an airplane.
The booths first appeared in Korea, where The Korea Times reports that Samsung is running rental phone booths at major airports in Incheon, Gimpo and Gimhae for users who haven’t yet returned their Note 7 devices.
In Australia, where devices are also banned from all flights, there are “customer service points” at major Australian airports, where customers can switch-out their devices for for a new phone. Samsung will even do data transfer. The airports and terminals where you can do an exchange are available on Samsung Australia’s website.
In the United States, Samsung has booths setup too. At least at some airports. ABC7News in San Francisco reports that there is an exchange booth at SFO, where customers caught with phones in another country can swap out for a new device (complete with data transfer) before boarding. LAflyr on Twitter also reports that booths are available at TSA checkpoints at LAX.
In a statement, Samsung told Gizmodo:
All Galaxy Note7 owners should visit their local carrier or retail store and participate in the U.S Note7 Refund and Exchange Program immediately and before traveling.
We are coordinating with various partners to communicate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent order to ban all Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights across multiple touch-points. We are providing support to Galaxy Note7 owners by exchanging their devices or refunding them in a wide range of places, including at some of the most frequently visited airports around the country. These on-site reps are there to help customers with last minute travel support and can be located by calling the Galaxy Note7 hotline at 1-844-365-6197.
But we urge all Galaxy Note7 owners to exchange their device or obtain a refund before they arrive at their airport. We know this is an inconvenience to our customers but safety has to remain our top priority.