Featured FAQ: What are the Rules for Transporting Cremated Remains?

October 2, 2013

People often ask about the rules for transporting cremated remains. Some airlines will not allow cremated remains as checked baggage, whereas other airlines may only accept it as checked luggage.  A variety of documents may be required, such as the death certificate and/or certificate of cremation. Since different airlines have unique rules, the best thing to do is to check with them directly prior to your flight to ensure you follow their required procedures. A funeral director will be able to help you navigate the various rules as well.

Here are a few universal tips to follow:

  • The contents should be clearly identified as cremated human remains.
  • The container must be able to be scanned (i.e. less dense like plastic or wood).
  • Arrive early to ensure enough time for security clearance.
  • Carry the required documents with you and consider also attaching copies to the container itself.
  • Check with a licensed funeral director at your point of origin and destination to determine if there are local laws you need to consider.
  • If travelling internationally, contact the appropriate Embassy(ies) to identify specific rules and requirements and allow two weeks at minimum for the process.

Your airline should be able to help you with any questions, and more general information can be found on the TSA website. As always, a funeral director can help answer any questions or guide you through your specific situation.



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