By Erika Owen
September 12, 2016
Why do Phones Catch Fire on Planes?
Credit: Getty Images/Westend61

Smartphones can be a dangerous carry-on.

The Federal Aviation Administration is warning passengers with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 not to use or charge their device while on airplanes.

Faulty batteries in an estimated 24 out of every 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7s are causing the phones to catch fire and explode. Since the issue is the battery, and not necessarily the specific device, even some iPhones have caught fire in the past.

The New York Times reported one big but avoidable reason phones are causing issues, specifically in business class: automatic chairs.

Two passengers aboard different Qantas flights earlier this summer dropped their phones into the cracks in their business class seats. After being stuck and crushed in the mechanical workings of the electric chair, the phones caught fire.

In both cases, flight attendants were able to quickly address the situation, according to the Times, and the flights landed safely. But avoiding dropping a device into a seat in the first place could make flying safer for us all.

Erika Owen is the Senior Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.