Can You Bring CDs on a Plane?

There are many TSA (Transportation Security Administration) rules to keep in mind when traveling by flight.

Additionally, sometimes, the rules just don’t make sense. For instance, TSA allows passengers to bring watermelons through security, but not bottles of water. Now, what’s up with that?

In the case of CDs, you’re permitted to take them along with you on a flight as they aren’t classified as dangerous items. As a matter of fact, you can take any electronic device along with you on a plane, provided it fits in your carry-on luggage.

The only thing you need to keep in mind with electronic devices, including CDs, is to put them into the security tray during security checks.

Will the Airport Scanners Damage Your CDs?

It’s standard protocol to place CDs and electronic devices into the security tray during security checks.

Thankfully, airport scanners such as X-ray and magnetic field scanners don’t interfere with optical storage media such as CDs. 

Hence, they don’t cause damage to your CDs.

What’s a Better Alternative to Taking Your CDs Along With You?

Though you’re allowed to take your CDs along with you on a plane, it’s perhaps not the most convenient thing to do.

Picture carrying your CD, locating it, and inserting it into your laptop in your cramped airline seat. Does it sound comfortable in any shape or form?

It would be better to copy the files on the CD to your laptop’s hard drive beforehand.

Are You Allowed to Bring Pirated/Burned CDs on a Plane?

Air traffic and security control primarily deal with security and not copyright. 

And, since CDs aren’t categorized as dangerous items, they will pass through security without problems.

I mean, let’s be real here—considering the traffic of people at the airports, do you think the security would have the time or desire to look at your CDs properly?

Therefore, as long as you don’t travel with a case of 200 burned CDs, you won’t be subjected to suspicious looks and actions from the airport authorities.

Can You Use Your CD Player During Flights?

Yes, you can use your CD players, DVD players, and even Walkman during flights.

However, whether you can use them for take-offs and landings depends on the size of your device and the rules of the airline you’re flying with.

Smaller portable electronic devices such as smartphones, handheld game consoles, kindles, and tablets that can be held on to or secured in the seat-back pocket, in most cases, can be used during takeoffs and landings.

As for larger devices such as DVD players and laptops, they must be stowed away during the initial and final phases of your flight.

Also, bear in mind that the rules can differ according to each airline; so, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline to be better prepared.

Can You Take Your DVDs With You in Your Carry-on?

The rules that apply to CDs apply to DVDs as well. Therefore, you can take your DVDs and DVD player along with you in your carry-on.

What’s the Best Way to Travel With CDs?

If you don’t plan on using your CDs, it’s best to keep them with you in your carry-on the entire time.

That way, you can keep them safe and rest easy knowing that you’ll no longer have to worry about airport personnel damaging them by mishandling your checked luggage.

To make sure your CDs are in pristine condition during boarding and deplaning, it’s best to keep them in their original packaging. 

However, this may not seem practical if you plan on taking a lot of CDs with you. For those short on space, I’d advise you to invest in a disc binder.

A disc binder is a type of portable storage wallet for CDs. Inside the disc binder, you’ll find sleeves that can safely keep your CD from scratches. 

And, on the outside, you’ll see that the binder has a soft, thick lining to protect your CDs from breakage.


You can take your CDs, even pirated ones, along with you on your flight. 

However, I’d advise you against taking lots of burned/pirated CDs at once as it can raise suspicion.

To make sure your CDs remain in good condition even after a long flight, I recommend storing them in a disc binder in your carry-on.