Transporting Cremains. What you should know?

Transporting Cremains. What you should know?


There is a growing demand for the easy transportation of cremated remains, as the cremation rate increases and families are more dispersed. In some cases family wish to transport the mortal remains of their loved one back for scattering or storing in their home state.  In other cases family wish to distribute cremated remains between family members or just to move them at different location. Nevertheless, you should follow some steps to be sure this happens as easy as possible. Here are some tips how to do that.


Transporting cremains by air


Most airlines will allow you to transport cremated remains, either as air cargo, or as carry-on or checked luggage. Whether shipping the cremains as cargo or as checked luggage, consider all of the following.

  • Check with the airline to determine their exact policies on either shipping or handling as luggage;
  • Check the requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This means for you is that you must ensure that the container holding the cremated remains of your loved one is "security friendly" as defined by the TSA. Generally, this means a thin-walled, lightweight urn constructed of plastic or wood.
  • Carry on the Death Certificate, Certificate of cremation or other needed documents, provided by the funeral agency prior the funeral arrangement.
  • Arrive early so you can have time for security clearance;


Shipping cremation ashes by post


Shipping the ashes is usually not as widespread as travelling with the cremation urn for ashes. However, if you have to do this, please take into consideration the following:

  • If you are based in The USA you can only use USPS as a courier company for this type of services. According to the USPS official guide to packaging and shipping cremated remains, customers must use Priority Mail Express services to ship cremains within the United States. This service allows you to track your package to its destination. You must also indicate the contents of the package on the outside of the package.


  • The best course of action if you wish to transport the urn for ashes of your loved one internationally is to contact your country’s embassy in the destination country. They will guide you through the protocol required for proper cremains transport so you have a less stressful travel experience. Countries do have different regulations about receiving cremated remains and what additional importation documentation must be completed.


The process of transporting, shipping or mailing an urn with cremains of a loved one can seem like a complicated list of procedures. If you are well prepared there is nothing to worry about. Your patience will be rewarded by a positive experience in getting your loved one to the chosen meaningful destination.

We hope this guide has been useful to you.