A year ago, many people were told they could not fly with their Galaxy Note 7 because it was prone to fire due to battery issues. Now, Samsung is reportedly handing out free Galaxy Note 8 units to fliers in a bid to tell the world that its latest Note phone is as safe as a chocolate bar on airplanes. Sounds implausible but then when you are Samsung you can pull it off something like this. The company indeed handed out 200 free Galaxy Note 8 — packed and sealed in retail boxes — to all passengers on a flight in Spain.
It was a surprise gesture as far as passengers were concerned. They had no idea that they would be getting a phone that costs nearly $1000 in Spain for free. The free Note 8 were distributed on a flight operated by Iberia between Madrid to A Coruna. And the gesture left passengers, first a little amused, and then grinning from ear-to-ear as air-hostess went through the aisle handing out free boxes of the latest Samsung Android flagship.
The boxes were accompanied by a written message in Spanish. It translated to: “A year ago we asked you to turn it off, we welcome you today on board.”
This was a reference to the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Last year when the reports of the Note 7 catching fire due to the battery problems surfaced, almost everywhere in the world airlines first banned the Note 7 from the check-in baggage and then later banned it altogether. The device was considered too dangerous to be carried on planes.
The Note 7 was later recalled by Samsung and after a few weeks killed. The company announced that it was scrapping all the Note 7 it made and asked consumers who had managed to get it to return the device back. The units that were not returned were later disabled with a software update.
The Note 8 was launch a few months ago. Samsung says that it took extra care for the battery in this phone and that it is perfectly safe for the daily use. Samsung giving away the free Note 8 units to people inside a plane is company’s attempt to draw attention at the fact that the Note 8 is perfectly safe to use, even on the planes.
The Galaxy Note 8 is a top-of-the-line phone. In India it sells for Rs 67,900.