Can I Bring A Compass On a Plane

For those curious about whether they can bring a compass on their travels, the situation is straightforward according to the latest guidance from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In a direct communication I’ve did with them, the TSA has confirmed that “compasses are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.” This ruling encompasses traditional magnetic compasses, electronic variants, and even liquid-filled compasses.

I have contacted them because there was nothing about compasses in their guidelines, this is the message :

TSA Compass Rules

Date of message: February 02, 2024

What to know about traveling with a Compass on a plane?


According to this answer from TSA, we can conclude that there is no need to differentiate between compass types. Whether your compass is electronic, magnetic, or liquid-filled, it is permitted on planes by TSA. However, take note of the following for a smooth travel experience:

  • Electronic Compasses: As with all electronic devices, be prepared to power on your electronic compass if requested during TSA checks to demonstrate its functionality.
  • Magnetic and Liquid-Filled Compasses: These are generally allowed without restrictions. However, given that liquid-filled compasses contain a sealed amount of liquid, they fall well within the TSA guidelines for liquids in carry-on luggage.

A real passenger experience further underscores the ease of traveling with a compass:

“I took a compass through in my carry-on… and it was completely ignored. There were, at that time, two levels of security – the x-ray scanner/metal detector checkpoint, and then they were also opening up carry-on bags at the gate.”

What about the rules for your destination?

Scroll through the list below to see if your destination has any restrictions for travelers. There is also other important information available, such as visa requirements and places to visit:

Stay Updated on Compass Travel Rules

This page was crafted with the latest TSA guidelines in mind. For the most current information, consider the following resources:

  • Visit the TSA’s official website for detailed guidelines.
  • Contact TSA on Twitter: @AskTSA
  • Contact TSA on Facebook Messenger:
  • Contact TSA via Apple Business Chat: AskTSA
  • Send TSA a message: Text “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872)

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