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Traveling with Ashes

One of the many benefits of choosing cremation is the ability to travel with your loved one’s cremated remains. Many people choose to scatter their loved ones’ ashes abroad or in a place of significance close to home. There is also the possibility that you have to travel to pick up your loved one’s ashes from a crematorium or funeral home.

Traveling with ashes can be painstaking if you do not plan ahead or take the necessary precautions to secure the urn before driving or flying. In this article, we highlight many of the most common guidelines for traveling with ashes. With this information, you can avoid any potential accidents or misfortunes on your journey. Keep reading to learn more.

Traveling by Plane with Ashes

If you have to travel a long distance to pick up your loved one’s cremated remains, it is important to be aware of airline restrictions and rules. Some airlines do not allow cremated remains as checked baggage, so you should check with your specific airline to ensure that you’re in compliance. According to the Transportation Security Administration, security officers will not open crematory containers under any circumstances. However, you can make the screening process even simpler by purchasing a temporary container to transport your loved one’s cremains. There are a wide variety of temporary containers made from lightweight materials, such as plastic or wood. If the container you choose is made of a material that generates an opaque image, TSA officers will not be able to clearly determine what’s inside the container and the container will not be allowed.

Many airlines permit crematory containers, including American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, and United. However, some of these airlines require a cremation certificate for verification. Although it might be best to purchase a temporary container, we recommend that you look for a sturdier urn. Ceramic and glass urns are at risk of breaking regardless of whether you carry on or check your bag. You should also account for any delays in security by arriving at your airport early. If you are flying internationally, it is important to give yourself as much time as possible to check with the appropriate embassy. Some countries treat cremated remains just as they do human remains, and you may be required to submit documentation from your crematorium or funeral home. You should also carefully choose a lid that can be firmly attached to avoid any in-flight accidents. Urns with threaded lids are at reduced risk of opening in midair. Urns with lift-off or hinged lids will require extra measures to prevent them from opening.

The maximum carry-on baggage size permitted for all major airlines is 12” x 14” x 9”. Your cremation urn cannot be any larger than those dimensions. If you cannot find a suitable plastic or wood urn, cardboard, cloth, fiberboard, and transparent glass are all materials that can be scanned by the TSA. Urns made of ceramic, metal, or even stone will not be allowed. Just remember, the TSA is very understanding of the emotional duress that those traveling with the cremated remains of a loved one face. They will take the utmost care whilst handling your loved one’s remains.

OneWorld Memorials is committed to making the process of shopping for cremation urns easy and straightforward. Please let us know how we can be of service during this difficult time. If you have any questions or concerns about this article, please call us toll-free to speak with a member of our customer service team.