Travel Tip of the Day: Don’t Check Human Remains (Ashes)

Fallen Soldier on my Delta Flight Oct 29 2013 -003Don’t Check Human Remains (Ashes)
It’s as sensitive a subject as any in life, let alone in travel, but a recent story got me thinking I needed to set the record straight on how to travel with crematory remains. The most important piece of advice? Don’t check them in your bag. Instead, carry them on.

They’ll be subject to screening and must pass through the X-ray machine but “if the X-ray Operator cannot clear the remains, TSA may apply other, non-intrusive means of resolving the alarm. Under no circumstances will an officer open the container, even if the passenger requests this be done.” However, if the officer cannot determine that the container does not contain a prohibited item, the remains will not be permitted.

Make sure you know the deal before you fly. Here’s more on the subject from the TSA.

FYI: The photo above comes from the post I wrote after my experience on a moving and powerful Delta flight that brought home a fallen soldier.

 

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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

5 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Don’t Check Human Remains (Ashes)"

  1. I did lots of research on this prior to bringing my husband’s cremains to his oversees ancestral home town. Traveling with cremains require a simple sturdy wooden box with no insert. Just place the cremains in a very heavy duty bag (the funeral home can help with that) and place the bag in the wooden box. The Internet provides requirements on how the box is to be sealed. I was fortunate that my brother has carpenter skills so he made the box out of pine. Recommend that people thoroughly research the creaming requirements of the country flying to. If staying within the USA, you’ll still need the wood box appropriately sealed.

  2. My husband passed away suddenly while in Oahu in 2013 and I was in California.
    He was cremated there . we were going to bring his ashes home with us on the aircraft.
    In Hawaii you must have a permit from the state granting you permission to take the ashes out of the state on an aircraft. Without the permit it can’t go as carry-on or checked in.
    We were also told we were subject to them taking us aside by TSA to discuss what was in the box.
    We opted to take the chance and have the mortuary UPS his remains to CA. With the permit.
    It was less stressful and they arrived in a timely manner. A friend recently sent cremated remains by USPS without a permit from Oahu deciding to take the risk that they might be confiscated if they went through some kind of an x-ray wondering what was in the box. Fortunately for her the remains arrived

  3. I didn’t want to take a chance traveling with ashes, so I sent them ahead via UPS. When I checked into my hotel I was told a package had arrived for me. No questions, no problems.

  4. I’ve always wondered about this one – thank you for clearing it up! :)

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