Can You Bring Magnets on a Plane? TSA Magnet Rules



Curious about flying with magnets? You’re not alone. Many travelers wonder if their magnetic items will pass TSA’s regulations.

We’ll be going over: Are magnets allowed on planes? Can magnets of various types, including strong industrial ones, be carried in your luggage? Do these magnetic items trigger alarms at airport security checkpoints? And how does the TSA’s stance on magnets in carry-on and checked baggage affect your packing decisions?

Let’s dive in and unravel the magnetic mysteries of air travel!

can you take magnets on a plane

The Quick Answer: Can you take magnets on a plane? Yes, you can bring magnets on a plane. TSA allows magnets in both carry-on and checked baggage with no restrictions for common types like fridge or toy magnets. Strong magnets, like neodymium or industrial magnets, have FAA restrictions due to their potential to interfere with navigational equipment.


Can you bring magnets on a plane?

Can you take a magnet on a plane is surprisingly asked quite frequently by passengers who do not wish to fall foul of the security regulations.

The Transportation Security Administration website states no restrictions on taking magnets through a security checkpoint at the airport. They can normally be left in your carry on when the bag goes through the x-ray machine so you do not need to remove them and place them in a tray.

Do magnets set off airport metal detectors? If you have any magnets in your pockets, you should remove them and place them in a tray for screening, as the airport metal detectors will certainly be set off by any on your person.

As with anything, the final decision on what can or cannot be taken through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer.

The sort of magnets you can take through airport security include:

  • magnetic toys
  • refrigerator magnets
  • a magnetic compass
  • a magnetic chessboard
  • a magnetic knife rack (but not the knives as these would have to go in checked bags as they are not allowed in carry on bags)
  • most other small magnets with relatively low-powered magnetic fields

As most magnets, especially fridge magnets, etc, are small and light, there is no restriction on the quantity you can take through airport security either.

Taking strong magnets on a plane

If you intend to take any strong magnet on a plane in either carry on or checked luggage then you should contact the FAA before doing so (perhaps using Twitter – @FAASafetyBrief).

These strong magnets may include:

  • industrial magnets
  • rare earth magnets, which include:

The FAA states that you cannot take magnets on board an aircraft if the magnet’s magnetic field is more than 0.00525 gauss (measured at 15 feet from any surface of its packaging).

No, that doesn’t mean much to me either, but I guess it may make more sense to anyone planning on taking strong magnets on a plane with them or to a physicist.

Here is the TSA’s response to a passenger asking, “Can I bring neodymium magnets on a plane?”:

can you bring strong magnets on a plane

This is the FAA’s response to another passenger’s question, providing the set precise guidelines:

can you take strong magnets on a plane

You could also check with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as they impose rules on which types and strengths of magnets can be taken on a plane.

There is this restriction on the strength of magnets allowed on a plane because there is a risk that they could cause interference with the navigational equipment of the aircraft.

I imagine this risk is lower now than in the past as aircraft no longer rely on magnetic compasses for navigation as navigation is mostly GPS-based.

Can you take fridge magnets on a plane?

This is a Twitter TSA response to a passenger’s question, “Are fridge magnets allowed on planes?”:

are fridge magnets allowed on planes

Can you use magnets while on board?

I can’t think of many instances where you may want to use a magnet on a plane (unless you want to visit the galley and put a magnet on the aircraft’s refrigerator).

If you have a child’s magnetic game with you to keep the child entertained during the flight, that might happen, but in any case, it wouldn’t be a problem as you can use them on board.

Are magnets allowed in checked baggage?

As with many things, even items that are potentially contentious from an airport security point of view, you can often carry in your checked luggage.

Magnets are no exception, so you can put them in your checked baggage if you are taking any rather than in your carry-on.

The TSA confirms this, even for this passenger’s inquiry regarding taking rare earth magnets in his checked bags.

fridge magnets in checked luggage


When it comes to air travel, many people wonder, “Can I bring magnets on a plane?” The good news is that you can take magnets on a plane. However, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

Firstly, magnets are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage, so whether you prefer to keep them close or stow them away is entirely up to you.

When going through airport security, you might wonder, “Can you take magnets through airport security?” Rest assured, you can bring them with you without any issues.

They are all allowed on planes, from fridge magnets to powerful magnets used for various purposes. So, whether you’re a collector or need them for specific tasks during your trip, feel free to pack your magnets and fly worry-free.


Can you bring magnetic things on a plane?

All low-powered magnetized materials, such as a magnetic toy and refrigerator magnet, can be taken on a plane. The exception might be a very strong rare earth magnet or industrial magnet.

Do magnets set off metal detectors?

Magnets are very likely to set off metal detectors, particularly if they are made of magnetized iron or are neodymium magnets. It would be advisable to place them in a security tray for screening.

Are magnets allowed in check in baggage?

All but the most powerful types of rare earth magnets are allowed in hold bags by the TSA.

Can magnetic eyelashes go through airport security?

You can take magnetic eyelashes through security at the airport, although there is a possibility that you may set off the metal detector if you wear them. It may be best to place them in a tray.

Sharing is caring!