Flying on a Plane with a Cremation Urn

You may be wondering about flying with ashes if you are planning to transport the cremains of a loved one to another state or country for scattering purposes, burial or other reasons.  Do airlines allow you to carry the ashes of a loved one with you when you travel?  How should you transport them?  There are many questions you may regarding flying with ashes have that hopefully this article will answer.

Sometimes our loved ones make requests before they pass concerning what they want done with their cremains.  Some prefer scattering over a lake or ocean, others want to be scattered over an area of mountains that held meaning for them.  This sometimes means that you must travel, and flying with ashes is a bit of a concern for some.

Airlines respect that flying with ashes is often necessary when you need to travel by air with a cremation urn, but they do have rules.  Today, security levels are at an all time high due to criminal activity, so there are some rules you must abide by if you plan on flying with ashes.

The container you carry your loved ones ashes in must be made of a material that can be seen through using an x-ray machine, so that security personnel can clearly see that there is nothing potentially dangerous inside.  Additionally, when flying with ashes you can carry a container on as carry-on luggage provided it passes security measures.

Light materials such as paper, wood or plastic usually work well for traveling.  These materials are light enough that x-ray machines can determine what is inside, and the materials are not opaque which can make for tough time passing security.  Flying with ashes is really not anything to be overly concerned about as long as you use a container that will pass.

Before flying with a cremation urn of your loved one, check with the airline to determine the rules they abide by, as some airlines do not allow an urn or any container of ashes to be checked with other baggage.

Biodegradable urns are good for travel, as most are made of natural materials that easily pass security.  These urns are designed of wood, sand, paper and other materials that usually don’t cause a problem when traveling.  If you plan on flying an urn for ashes, just be certain to check with the airline first before traveling with an urn, and make sure you have the proper container so that you can pass security.

Traveling by Air with a Cremation Urn

Airport Cremation InformationIf you wish to travel by air with a cremation urn then it’s important to know what’s required in respect of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) screening procedures. These procedures have been devised in such a way as to provide security for all passengers while at the same time remaining respectful to those traveling with the cremated remains of loved ones.

Regardless of whether you want to travel with it as carry-on baggage or checked baggage, your cremation urn must successfully pass the airport’s screening procedures. If you’re traveling with an urn as carry-on baggage, then it must pass through the airport’s x-ray machine. An urn that’s transported as checked baggage will be screened for explosive devices/materials using a number of techniques. However, it’s important to note that not all air carriers permit cremated remains as checked baggage so you should check with your air carrier or travel agent beforehand.

If you want to travel with your cremation urn as carry-on baggage and it cannot be successfully screened, then it won’t be allowed on board the aircraft. There is no documentation that will enable a passenger to bypass this security screening process, so you must ensure that your urn is able to comply with it. In addition, as a mark of respect for the deceased, screening personnel will, under no circumstances, open a cremation urn, even if requested by the passenger carrying the urn.

The TSA suggests transporting remains in a container made of lighter material than that typically used for cremation urns, such as wood, cardboard, or plastic, all of which can be successfully screened. Some of the more traditional types of urns can produce an opaque image when screened and, as a result, aren’t permitted through the security checkpoint. You can of course use an urn made from a lighter material as a temporary carrier for your cremated remains and then place the remains in a more permanent urn at an appropriate time later.

Provided you are well aware of the security requirements when traveling with a cremation urn, you shouldn’t have any problems. Ensure your urn is made from a material that will enable the security personnel to x-ray it successfully and you can rest assured that the experience will be just another step to finally laying your loved one to rest.

For further information on this matter, go to www.tsa.gov (the “For Travelers” page), or call TSA on 866-289-9673.

You can contact In The Light Urns directly at (800) 757-3488 for further information.

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