If you’ve ever needed to take cremated remains on a commercial flight, there are a few things to keep in mind. Flying across the country or to the other side of the world isn’t what it used to be. Airport screenings and airline regulations can make even the simplest flights overwhelming. So it’s best to prepare yourself and understand all the issues involved when flying with ashes from a loved one’s cremation.
Depending on the airline, consumers may place a container of cremated remains inside checked luggage, although there is the chance of it getting lost lost or damaged. However, according to the Transportation Security Administration, if you carry ashes on board, the container is subject to screening and must pass through the x-ray machine.
If the TSA operator cannot approve the container, other non-intrusive procedures are applied. However, if the container cannot be cleared, it will not be allowed on board. TSA workers are not allowed to open the ashes’ container, even if the consumer allows it. Even documentation from the funeral home working with the family is not sufficient.
So what can consumers do to make this process go smoother? The TSA recommends transporting the cremains in a light-weight plastic or wood container, typically provided by a funeral home. Once consumers reach their destination, they can have the ashes removed from the temporary container to a permanent one by one of the TSA’s Funeral Home Partners. This is a complimentary service.