If I take a flash drive through an airport security checkpoint, do I have to take it out along with my phone charging bank and electronics, or leave it in my laptop sleeve? Also, is it okay if I put all my electronics (chargers, phones, flash drives, phone charging bank) in a Ziploc bag to be x-rayed? And, will the flash drives' memory be wiped and erased after being x-rayed?

Also, now regarding the check in luggage, if I put the flash drives in my check in luggage, will the flash drives' memory be erased when going through the big x-ray chamber?

1 Answer 1


Flash drives won't need to be removed from your luggage in most cases except in a hand search but your phone will. X-rays won't damage any properly built flash drives just as it doesn't cause damage to phones.

I advise against putting a flash drive, or any sensitive electronics, in checked-in luggage. The risk of it getting damaged is too high. And, airlines don't take responsibility for damaging such things when in checked-in luggage.

  • I’ve never hd to take flash drives, chargers etc... out of my hand luggage. Just my laptop. Oct 14, 2019 at 19:05
  • @KristvanBesien some airports make you some don't, edited post
    – Xnero
    Oct 14, 2019 at 19:06
  • 2
    Damage to a flash drive in checked luggage? That would be weird and most likely unrelated to the fact it was in checked luggage. Were you thinking about external hard disk drives?
    – jcaron
    Oct 14, 2019 at 21:25
  • @jcaron it could get snapped or something for example
    – Xnero
    Oct 14, 2019 at 21:27
  • Your flash drive is far more likely to get snapped while plugged into a laptop. If it's just in a compartment in your bag, it'll have to hit something pretty hard to be damaged. If something like that happens to your plane you'll have more important things to worry about, if you're still alive. And now for an anecdote: On Tuesday my carry on bag got gate checked, and sure enough it had some flash drives in it. They were of course perfectly fine. I did pull the laptops out of it though. That's certainly not safe for checked luggage. Oct 17, 2019 at 8:44

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