Moving bodies over large distances can be a real difficulty. It can involve a lot of rules and regulations and long flights with layovers can cause difficulties especially if more than one airline or transport company is involved. Prices can be high however if you look hard enough you can find reasonably priced providers who will allow both cremated and non cremated remains. The occurrence is relatively rare for non service or military personnel but for some, especially expatriates, it can arise and without proper planning it can offer real problems for those looking to see us for the last time.
Firstly it’s important to be aware of bereavement fares. These special fares for those with a bereaved relative may offer some discount depending on the carrier you choose. This can be a huge help especially if money is an issue. On occasion this can be done on the company’s website however it may be easier, if possible, to either call or email them about this.
With an Urn and cremated remains
The key thing to remember here is that depending on the circumstances/rules ashes can be either checked in or on occasion be brought on as carry on luggage. While carry on is usually preferable just remember that the ashes may have a substantial weight so in some cases that will prohibit the carrying on of other bags. It’s also advisable to alert the airline to your wish to bring ashes. This can resolve any security issues which may arise.
With a body
While most will have special conditions and cost amounts for transporting human remains it needs to be stated that many airlines, train and ferry operators will accommodate it. Is it like regular cargo? This is a yes and no answer. Yes, once it’ secured and all the regulations are cleared it is considered regular cargo, but no, the conditions and regulations for it’s transport are not like that of most cargo. In short it’s best to discuss the special rules relating to the transport of human remains directly i.e. over the phone or in person. Remember it’s likely that the companies cargo department will ask you to prepare/preserve/embalm the body to avoid any further decomposition.
While for many companies the carrying and transport of human remains is a normal part of business others may be a little new to the process. It’s with this in mind that we would encourage anyone looking to transport remains to keep calm and make sure you tell the transporting company exactly what you need done and how your pick ups will fit in with their journey. While many companies will have procedures for this you never can be too careful.