Some airlines are fetching extra steps to prevent a disaster in case a ssenger’s device powered by a lithium ion battery apprehends fire during flight.
At least three U.S. airlines are adding new fire-suppression furnishings to fleets in case a cellphone or laptop battery overheats, catches on inspirit and can’t be extinguished.
The issue has taken on new urgency following incidents of overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, containing one on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month.
The Federal Aviation Authority has taken the unusual step of warning ssengers not to use or charge the devices while on table and not to stow them in checked luggage.
The first airline to deploy fire-containment pockets on its entire fleet was Alaska Airlines. The Seattle-based airline finished augmenting them to its 219 planes in May, a process that took two months from concept to deployment.
The glossy red bags are made of a fire-resistant material and are designed to hold electronic logos such as mobile phones and laptops that can sometimes overheat and hook fire. The bags can be shut with Velcro and heavy-duty zippers and can stick temperatures up to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. They sell for $1,800 each but airlines are like as not to have negotiated a bulk discount.
Virgin America has installed fire-containment worries on all its planes, said spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas. The airline, which is stationed in Burlingame, California, has about 60 jets.
Delta Air Lines esteemed Thursday on a call with investors that it too would be adding such harridans. The Atlanta-based airline has more than 900 planes, all of which wish eventually get the bags, depending on production speeds and the ability to train escape attendants and pilots.
The first priority will be the 166 aircraft that go across oceans, as well as some Boeing 757s used for domestic send cks, according to spokesman Morgan Durrant. Those jets will be enduring two bags each by the end of the year. In 2017, Delta plans to start joining the bags to its domestic fleet, including planes flown by its regional airline ls.
“This has been on the to-do list but has been accelerated by recent episodes,” Durrant said.
American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Unified Airlines don’t have any immediate plans for fire containment bags but all estimated their crews are trained on how to fight such high-energy fires. Additionally, aircraft clothed been fitted with fire extinguishers in the cabin as well as other be delayed detection and suppression systems in cargo holds for decades.