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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Prank Causes Trouble in the Skies

Note to fliers: Be smart when selecting your phone's wifi hotspot name
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2016 9:56 AM CST

(Newser) – A flier's (or, as some other media put it, "moron's") decision to name his wifi hotspot "Samsung Galaxy Note7_1097" caused trouble in the skies Tuesday night. In case you've been dozing during recent pre-takeoff announcements, airlines worldwide have banned the Samsung GN7 after reports the phone's lithium-ion battery can catch fire. The BBC reports the mid-air trouble began when a passenger on Virgin America 358 opened up his laptop and spotted the suspiciously named wifi network. In a series of tweets, Lucas Wojciechowski recounted what happened on the late-night flight from San Francisco to Boston after a call went out requesting that the passenger carrying a GN7 press his or her call button.

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First came a crew announcement: "This isn't a joke. We're going to turn on the lights (it's 11pm) and search everyone's bag until we find it." Then 15 minutes later: "This is the captain speaking." Wojceichowski tweets that if no one owns up, the plane will have to land. Then finally, relief: "Ladies and gentlemen, we found the device. Luckily only the name of the device was changed to 'Galaxy Note 7'. It was not a GN7." In a statement provided to TechnoBuffalo, Virgin America explains that "when our InFlight Teammates see potential evidence of [the GN7] onboard, they take it seriously." The airline corrects earlier reports that the kerfuffle affected flights, saying "no flights were cancelled or delayed as a result" of the incident. (Samsung apologized for the device in a very bold way.)

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