A plane was delayed amid fears a passenger’s mobile phone was about to explode.

The Air New Zealand flight was about to take off from Auckland International Airport shortly before 9am, but was delayed for around 45 minutes due to the concerns.

A passenger posted on Facebook about the incident and said the plane had been about to take off when the captain came into the cabin, telling passengers they were returning to a safe zone on the runway.

"This is because a passenger with new Samsung phone reports that even though it's turned off it's so hot they can't touch it," the post said.

The passenger said the phone owner had been worried it was about to explode.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson confirmed the plane returned to the gate prior to take off after a customer raised concerned with crew about "their cell phone potentially overheating."

"The phone's battery was removed and the flight departed for Rarotonga shortly after."

Rarotonga  is the largest of the Cook Islands, a nation of 15 islands in the central South Pacific.

* AvSax fire containment bags are now on board several major airlines worldwide and one would have been ideal for this scenario. 

If an electronic device starts to seriously overheat or emit smoke the cabin crew will pour at least two litres of water into an AvSax and then drop the burning device into the bag, adding additional water as required. The water activates the polymer gel inside the bag causing it to expand around the device. Should the device keep on venting then the AvSax is tough enough to absorb the force. 

The AvSax cools the batteries in the device, reducing the likelihood of the battery catching fire but if it does go into what is known as thermal runaway when all the battery cells catch fire at incredibly hot temperatures it is all contained within the bag.

Amazingly, the water is absorbed into the internal lining of the bag so the device is dry when it is removed.

AvSax have been deployed on aircraft 20 times so far this year and means they don’t need to make an emergency landing and can continue the flight confident the bag has solved the problem. The average cost of an emergency diversion in the USA is $400,000.