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What You Need To Know About Flying With Cremated Remains

Can You Fly With Cremated Remains?

Yes.  You can fly with your loved one’s cremated remains and it is not difficult or burdensome.

International travel is not a problem either.  However, there are more and different requirements requiring more planning. 

What You Need To Know.

Domestic Travel

Domestic air travel with cremated remains is straightforward. 

Just place your loved one’s cremated remains in your carry-on luggage and go to the airport with the documentation given to you by your funeral home.   

When you arrive at TSA screening, let the TSA agent know that you are traveling with cremated remains. 

The TSA agent will ask you for a copy of the cremation certificate (you should always be given a cremation certificate by your funeral home, regardless of whether or not you are traveling with cremated remains). 

Although not required, I would also give the TSA agent a copy of your loved one’s death certificate. 

The urn will go through routine screening for carry-on luggage, and you will be on your way.  

International Travel

International travel is a bit more complicated depending upon what country you are traveling to. 

As soon as possible, call the destination country’s embassy or consulate and ask what is required to go through customers and immigration.  

The requirements for each country are a little different and change regularly.  As a result, do not trust anyone’s memory or even the destination country’s website.

Always call and confirm the requirements with the embassy.  And, do not worry about your questions being “strange” to embassy workers.  Embassy questions regarding travel with cremated remains are common.  

Typically, the requirements include an “Apostille,” which is a document produced by the state in which your loved one passed away.  Your funeral home will know how to obtain an Apostille and can get that for you. 

Other countries require a notarized letter from your funeral home, yet other countries require documents from the health department.  There is no way to know what is needed unless you call the appropriate embassy.  

However, air travel to your destination will not be a problem once you have these documents.

Other Important Tips

You still aren’t entirely done once you have the appropriate documentation and are getting ready to head off to the airport. 

There are still some easy and common-sense steps to follow.

Do not place your loved one’s cremated remains in checked luggage.

Your loved one’s remains should only travel in carry-on luggage. 

Never give up control and possession of your loved one’s remains. 

Airlines lose luggage, and sometimes baggage handling machines “squish” luggage. 

If something bad happens to your loved ones’ cremated remains, you will never forgive yourself. 

Pack the urn with your loved one’s cremated remains in a box with padding.  Do not seal the box. 

Even though you will be keeping your loved one’s cremated remains with you at all times, it is still prudent to pack the urn in a box as if you were mailing the package. 

You want to make sure that the urn carrying your loved one is not damaged or squashed in transit, no matter what happens.  

But, do not seal the box containing the urn so that you can easily show TSA and airline employees what you are carrying. 

Your funeral home can pack the box for you, or any parcel shipping store can help.  

Only travel with a metal urn. 

Wooden, plastic, biodegradable, and stone urns often break in transit. 

On the other hand, most metal urns are virtually indestructible and will not break or open regardless of how that happens in transit.  

Sunshine Cremation offers metal urns for sale that cost less than $50 and will protect you and your loved one from a broken urn travel fiasco.  So, please, only travel with a metal urn. 

If you have other questions about traveling with your loved one after the cremation, please call our office at 561-717-2876.

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