You can now be fined or prosecuted for bringing a Samsung Note 7 on a plane.

I have a Samsung Note 3 (picture for reference), and I'm worried that my phone will be confused for a Note 7 when going through an airport/on a plane:

Samsung Note 3

If questioned about my phone how can I prove that it is not a Note 7?

(The only indications I can find it is a Note 3 is the logo at phone startup and a label on the phone battery. The 'About Phone' settings on Android do not specifically label the phone as 'Note 3'.)

Or will they already have considered this, and security/attendants be able to differentiate the phones?

  • Maybe because the Rule isn't technically published yet. There's lots of references already though.
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 22:18
  • Excellent question! And then there's the Huawei Honor Note 8 (emphasis mine) which noone should mix up because t's almost an inch bigger but I bet confusion will still happen. Although at least that has Honor written on the back. All in all, we need the identifying instructions the FAs will get.
    – user4188
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 22:55
  • What does it say for "Model number" on the "About phone" menu?
    – vclaw
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 10:46
  • I too have a Note3 sitting around somewhere, the best Samsung made - but i have a pink one! :ppp
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:31
  • Andeh, you simply remove the battery and sho wthe model number (as moto has explained), couldn't be easier.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:31

2 Answers 2


Short answer, be prepared to restart your device to show it's a Note 3 if that's all you can do.

Very soon (maybe already, maybe Monday) expect the airlines and FAA to publish directives for flight crews to identify and handle these devices. The instructions to identify a Galaxy Note 7 should be fairly specific by unique physical characteristics or software identification.

I would expect cabin crews to quickly familiarize themselves with the look of a Galaxy Note 7 if they aren't already.

If the airlines are particularly cautious, you may even see checks at the gate or terminal entrance, such as on the belt scanner where the devices would be visible anyway. TSA might already be in the loop on this.

From the DOT Release:

What air travelers should know   If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, the phones may be confiscated and passengers may face fines.   

Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident.  Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.  

Passengers currently traveling with Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones should contact Samsung or their wireless carrier immediately to obtain information about how to return their phones and arrange for a refund or a replacement phone. Samsung has provided guidance for customers about refund and replacement options, as well as how to contact wireless carriers, at http://www.samsung.com/us/note7recall/ [external link]. Samsung is also answering customers’ questions at 1-844-365-6197.

If an airline representative observes that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Note7 device prior to boarding an aircraft, the air carrier must deny boarding to the passenger unless and until the passenger divests themselves and their carry-on and checked baggage of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 device. Passengers absolutely should not pack the phones in their checked luggage.  

If a flight crew member identifies that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device while the aircraft is in flight, the crew member must instruct the passenger to power off the device, not use or charge the device while aboard the aircraft, protect the device from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and keep the device on their person and not in the overhead compartment, seat back pocket, nor in any carry-on baggage, for the duration of the flight.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 device is considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-185), which forbid airline passengers or crew from traveling with lithium cells or batteries or portable electronic devices that are likely to generate a dangerous evolution of heat. PHMSA has issued a special permit to Samsung to facilitate commercial shipment of the recalled devices by ground transportation.

  • This is an interesting, voluminous, answer about the regulations. But why not also answer the question John? (Samsung ids are simply under the battery.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:32
  • As usual, downvotes total unwarranted.
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:44
  • It's because when I posted the correct answer, the DOT announcement had been temporarily withdrawn. I could remove it now, but probably won't.
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:45
  • Hey man - sorry, I guess I'm not following you. To identify ANY samsung device, you simply look under the battery. The question is "how can I prove..." which model it is. There are two and only two ways to check the model number of a samsung device (1) look under the battery (2) I guess in theory (if for some reason you can't glance under the battery - so, it's stuck? or something; I don't really know why you wouldn't be able to glance under the battery, but in theory if for some reason you cannot do that): restart the phone, the OBSCURE model number flashes on the screen for a split-second.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:50
  • By "obscure" model number I mean like, example, "N9005" for the note3 shown. it does not say "Note3" or whatever.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:51

It's amazingly simple.

When (and if) asked:

  • Remove back cover
  • Remove battery
  • Show them the Model ID
  • I was going to type the same thing, with the same punctuation even!
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 11:33
  • I was just wondering, can you put them in checked luggage??
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 12:10
  • @JoeBlow: in your checked luggage you can even put an hydrogen bomb to trigger later to blow up the entire plane. There is a huge difference between "can" and "should"...
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 12:17
  • 1
    Uhmm...I never ask for downvotes reasons, but this time I really do not understand it...
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 12:19
  • The downvote is totally bizarre. Regarding my checked luggage question - you are making a joke on the use of the word "can" right? (Sorry, I totally don't understand humour.) According to airline regulations, are you allowed under the regulations to put a note7 in checked luggage? Or do the regulations prohibit that?
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 12:21

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