Airlines are taking the threat from the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones very seriously. In fact, they’re taking it so seriously that Virgin America delayed a flight as its staff members hunted down what they thought was a Note 7. In fact, it turned out to be a passenger’s portable Wi-Fi hotspot. In jest, the person had renamed the hotspot Galaxy Note 7_1097—while the plane was in midair.
When a smartphone becomes a threat
The U.S. Department of Transportation banned the Note 7 from all flights in the wake of multiple reports that its battery had been exploding and/ or catching fire. Samsung later recalled the smartphone because the problem was so widespread, affecting customers in multiple countries.
Needless to say, airlines don’t want the exploding Galaxy Note 7 on their flights because it’s a serious hazard, so when the crew on a Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Boston noticed a device with that name on the plane, they detained the flight.
Galaxy Note 7 hotspot prank taken seriously
According to the BBC, Lucas Wojciechowski was one of the passengers on the flight, and he noticed the hotspot when he turned on his laptop. He snapped a photo of the laptop and shared it with the media outlet. A short time later, a member of the crew got on the loudspeaker and asked the passenger with the Galaxy Note 7 to press their call button.
Wojciechowski tweeted about the announcements on the late-night flight as the pilot told passengers that they were diverting the plane and taking it in for an emergency landing because of the phone’s presence. The pilot informed the passengers that they were going to flip on the lights inside the plane; the lights had been off because of the late hour.
He added that they were going to search all the bags in the plane until they located the Galaxy Note 7 and that the plane would be diverted and searched “if nobody fesses up soon.” The owner of the Wi-Fi hotspot admitted that they didn’t actually have a Note 7 but rather, they had changed the name of their hotspot to include the name of the dangerous smartphone.
Another flight affected by the prank
iMore Managing Editor Serenity Caldwell happened to be at the airport where the plane was landing and found a long line of people trying to change their travel itineraries. She said the 9 a.m. flight had been canceled because the plane was in midair when the crew noticed that there was a Galaxy Note 7 Wi-Fi hotspot on board.