Can You Carry a Magnet On a Plane?

Most of the time we may travel with magnets but we are clueless that we have them with us, in our watches, baby toys and even some of the electronics like headphones. But there are so many things to look at when planning to carry a strong magnet on a plane.

Small and standard magnets are good to go in both carry-on and checked luggage as they are considered safe and they will not interfere with the aircraft magnetic compass.

Large and powerful magnets can be classified as hazardous items, and may cause some major concerns for the aircraft system, so they may not be accepted by the airport security if they see them as safety threat.

In this post we will deep dive in the nitty gritty of traveling with magnets on airplanes and what type of magnets are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.

Let’s dive right in.

creased sticky notes pinned to a magnetic board
Photo by DS stories on

Take Magnet Through The Security Checkpoint

The TSA (the security Transportation Administration) stated that small and regular magnets are allowed through the security checkpoint without any issues.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website and what they has to say about flying with magnets.

screenshot from TSA website
The TSA Website

Even though the TSA didn’t mentioned this ” large magnets with higher magnetic power will definitely not be permitted through the security checkpoint” the FAA have restrictions on large and strong magnets.

If you show up to the airport with some other type of magnets the security agent will decide whether the item will be permitted in the airplane or not.

Ayden asked the TSA on Twitter if he can bring this powered neodymium magnet and The TSA replied that the FAA has some regulation concerning magnets with high magnetic field.

Here is the answer from the FAA.

AskTSA answer on X

Samantha showed this beautiful photo and wanted to take this magnet blocks for her kids on a Delta flight.

AskTSA answer on X

The TSA customer service replied that magnetic toys are good to go through the screening checkpoint.

Can You Take Magnet In Carry-on Luggage?

As some electronic items or baby toys already have magnets and many passengers are traveling with them, there are no restrictions on this type of magnets.

So you can bring a small magnet in your carry-on baggage without any problem on any airline.

You can place them in your personal item or carry-on bag, just ensure that you neatly secure your magnet inside your bag so it won’t move around.

If you want to take another type or a large magnet in carry-on bag you will need a permission so it is better to contact your airline and or send an email to the FAA on their website

For example as the FAA mentioned ” It is forbidden for carriage by aircraft if it has a magnetic field of more than 0.00525 gauss measured at 4.5 m (15 feet) from any surface of the package.

On the other hand if you want to take for example a fridge or small magnet you don’t need to worry about having a permission or to contact the airline or the airport authorities.

Is Magnet Allowed In Check In Baggage?

You can easily toss a regular or small magnets inside your checked bag and head to the airport without any problem.

On the other hand traveling with strong and large magnets but still under 0.00525 gauss and 4.5 m / 15 feet will need some prior homework.

Ensure that you contact your airline and the FAA if you are in the US prior traveling, that way you won’t get surprised at the airport.

If you are traveling within or to another country you can contact the airline and the airport authorities and provide them with more details about your magnet and the purpose of taking it with you.

Shelly tagged the AskTSA on twitter and wonder if she can bring her small neodymium magnet in checked luggage and The TSA customer Service and the FAA replied the same as for carry on luggage.

AskTSA and FAA answer on X

Magnets are allowed if they don to exceed the “0.00525 gauss measured at 4.5 m (15 feet)“.

How To Pack Magnet In Luggage?

After you contact the airline and the FAA and you get your confirmation, it is easy to pack your precious magnet.

Small magnets do not need any special packaging, but large magnets requires some added protection to make sure that it won’t get damaged or move during the handling process.

Using a cardboard or a small wood crate with a label is the ideal way to travel with a magnet.

You can also do some added protection with layers of clothes or paper, before placing the magnet inside the box.

If you are traveling with multiple pieces they need to be kept separated but still with their unlike poles, you can use a piece of wood or cloth to separate them.

Why Are Magnets Not Allowed On Planes?

Magnets that generate more than 0.00525 gauss and are 4.5 m / 15 feet in the package from any point will not be allowed to travel on planes.

But many passengers still do not understand why.

Generally almost any aircraft has one of the most important navigational tools in the cockpit which is the magnetic compass.

Taking a very strong and high density magnet will miss the aircraft cockpit cause some errors, and may even make the pilots lose control and the position of the airplane(You can read more here in the FAA website).

And you don’t want to do that.

That is why most airlines and shipping companies will not accept high density magnets on their aircrafts.

But you can easily transport the magnet by land using a shipping company, a train or with a car without any issues.

It is possible to destroy the data on a hard drive with a magnet, so traveling with a strong magnet will be a serious issue for other fellow passengers traveling with a hard drive in their luggage.


Final Thoughts

Small and ordinary magnets are permitted to go in both carry-on and checked luggage, but very strong magnets will not be allowed on planes.

Magnets with high power more than 0.00525 gauss 15 ft from any surface will not be allowed as they are considered dangerous items, and they may interfere with the aircraft system, and cause security concerns.

We hope this helps.

Happy travels.

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