SLC Airport expecting big crowds for UEA, travelers reminded not to pack Galaxy Note 7s

Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 08:30:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It may not be an official holiday, but the Utah Education Association, or UEA weekend, is a big time for travel. And this year the TSA has a new request relating to Samsung Galaxy Note devices.

“We're excited, we got here early, lots of luggage and strollers,” said Cassie Belnap, a traveler.

Many families in Utah are taking advantage of UEA weekend.

“We're going to Disneyland!” said the Belnap family.

Some are driving, but even more are flying.

“We're expecting upwards of 25,000 passengers per day through the airport this coming week," said Nany Volmer, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Volmer says they’ll have more passengers this weekend than they do at Thanksgiving or even at Christmas. They say people should plan ahead and give themselves some extra time.

“We have extra staff on board to make sure we have the checkpoints running smoothly, but a lot can take place on the passenger side,” Volmer said.

The airport recommends getting here at least two hours before your flight. They also say check TSA's website for a list of prohibited items before arriving.

On the list are Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones and devices.

“If the TSA finds one of those phones, they treat it as a hazardous material, and they'll confiscate that,” Volmer said.

After reports of Galaxy Note 7 phones catching fire, the Department of Transportation and the FAA decided to ban Galaxy Note 7s from all aircraft. That includes carry-on-and check-in baggage. It’s something Salt Lake City's TSA is taking seriously. They've already had to confiscate six phones.

“I thought it was a little strange, but I guess if they’re going to catch fire that's probably a good idea," said Amy Kingwell, a traveler. "I feel bad for the people that own them though, cause what are you going to do without your phone?"

Besides the hazard, having to talk to the airline about your phone could really slow you down. And on such a busy weekend, that time may be needed elsewhere, like finding a place to park.

“We are at almost capacity with parking, so it may take a little bit longer to find a parking space,” Volmer said.

Volmer also said if someone does arrive at the airport and remembers they have their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with them, they can leave it in their car. If they leave it in their travel bag and security finds it, it will be confiscated.