Can I Bring A Fishing Magnet On A Plane?

If you're packing for a trip and considering whether or not to bring your fishing magnets, the answer is a maybe. How many magnets you bring with you, where you go, and why all factor into this decision.

If you're worried about airport security or other electronic equipment, you should bring something other than a permanent magnet with you on your trip. You can also call the airline ahead of time and check with them if it is allowed.

If you're transporting many of them, put them in a padded case. You can also ship your magnets to your destination ahead of time. This is the safest way to get your magnet fishing kit across.

neodymium magnets fishing kit with case
Fishing magnets in padded case

Fishing magnets are one of the strongest magnets available today, and there is a possibility that they can cause problems with the airport's or airline's electronic equipment if they aren't shielded, so it's best to double-check with either before putting them in your carry-on.

Regulations Governing The Transport of Magnets On Airlines

The Transportation Security Administration says magnets are allowed in carry-on and checked bags. However, only low-intensity magnets are permitted. If the magnet's magnetic field is less than 5.25 milligauss at 15 feet, you can bring it on a commercial flight.

Also, “magnetized material” labels must be affixed to packages where the field strength is 5.25 milligauss or higher at a distance of seven feet. Remember that the package, not the magnet, determines the distance in both cases.

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It's possible to bring along a more powerful magnet, but only if you carefully stow it away, so the magnetic field is weakened. The United States Department of Transportation warns that unpackaged rare earth magnets traveling via air pose a safety risk to passengers. Air transport is obviously out of the question when suppliers cannot provide this specialized packaging.

European airline like Lufthansa and Austrian Air clearly state magnetic material of any kind is not allowed and is categorized as “dangerous material”.

What Effect Do Magnets or Magnetic Toys Have On Aircraft Systems?

While aircraft use GPS, they prioritize the more reliable magnetometer when making flight plans. Mistakes with the plane's navigation or other crucial electronics are among the worst possible outcomes during flight.

Aircraft Cockpit

Rare earth magnets and neodymium magnets can skew the readings from the aircraft's magnetometer, which is dangerous.

Differences Between Magnets And The Limitations They Pose For Aircraft

In most cases, it's safe to bring magnets along. However, there are likely exceptions, with specific types of magnets requiring additional scrutiny. Let's examine a few magnets to understand better the potential issues they may present.

Do Airlines Allow Rare Earth Magnets On Board?

There is speculation that these items are prohibited because they could disrupt flight navigation or flight control electronics. Specialized shipping containers can, however, be used to transport these magnets.

How About Neodymium Magnets? Can I Bring Them On A Plane?

There is no one correct answer because airport security procedures vary from country to country. The TSA in the United States has stated that neodymium magnets are acceptable as long as they are not “loose.”

Taking my neodymium magnet on the airplane

They should be fine if they're used with something else, like a toy or a machine. However, if you're carrying around a bunch of magnets in your bag, it's best to double-check with the airline or airport beforehand to make sure they're allowed.

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Industrial Magnets: Are They Allowed On Flights?

Magnets used for industrial purposes should generally be handled only by those who have received proper training. This is due to the possibility of damage to the plane's electronics from the surrounding magnetic field.

Those powerful industrial magnets can't be brought on board the plane. Only ships are capable of transporting heavy industrial magnets around the world. Presently, only so many planes can transport industrial magnets as they are mostly shipped or transported via train or road.

Should You Pack Magnets In Your Carry-On Luggage?

You can bring magnets in your checked baggage, but some restrictions exist. First, ensure the magnets are well-packed together with your other belongings. Second, remember that airports vary in security measures; you may be asked to take magnets out of your bags before they are X-rayed.

Toys with magnets can be checked at a security checkpoint. No airline will give you trouble for packing a small magnet in your carry-on. If the magnetic strip weighs less than 0.0125 grams, it can be carried on as checked baggage. This includes things like fridge magnets. You can bring most magnets on a plane.

Extra care must be taken when handling large magnets to prevent them from being damaged or moved around. Magnets measuring 4.5 m in diameter and larger magnets with a magnetic field strength of more than 0.00525 gauss are not allowed on commercial flights.

How Do You Safely Transport Magnets?

Being well-versed in a few key concepts can help you minimize the impact of the magnetic field on your packing. How a magnet is packed into its container is essential. Only ferrous materials, like steel, are effective at weakening a magnetic field.

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A steel container can be of any shape, but its wall thickness is critical. Therefore, steel plates with greater thickness are preferable. You can use two boxes of varying sizes to pack your magnet.

First, cover the magnet with paper or bubble wrap and tuck it into the smaller box. You should place the magnet close to the center of the first box. Afterward, take the first box and wrap it in paper before placing it inside the second box. If you'd like, you can wrap the second box.

The magnet is enclosed between two steel sheets with an “air gap” between them and the outside. This method is, however, ineffective with large neodymium magnets.

Also Read: How to Store My Neodymium Magnet?


Most magnets are not dangerous goods and can be transported in carry-on and checked luggage. Keep in mind that if a TSA agent has any doubts about whether or not an item is suspicious, that officer has the final say.  Most items, such as a magnetic compass, small magnets, refrigerator magnets, or navigational equipment, should be fine to bring on a plane.

The United States Department of Transportation and the International Air Transport Association state that a magnet's magnetic field strength may exceed safe levels under certain conditions and may be deemed dangerous in such a case. Very strong magnets, a neodymium magnet, or something with a very strong magnetic pull may be prohibited. It's up to the airline and US DoT to set precise guidelines.

At that point, only workers with the appropriate training would be allowed to handle the magnetized material. Hence it is essential to confirm with the relevant authorities what type of magnet is allowed on board.


Magnet Fishing Adventure

Anthony is passionate about magnet fishing. He likes to go out magnet fishing with his friends. On this site he shares his knowledge, experience, and details about magnet fishing gear and research with you.

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