Flying with an urn need not be a major hassle. There are a few basic considerations and one restriction with which you must comply, and with the information provided here you should be able take the necessary steps for quick and easy airline travel.
1. Your urn must be able to pass through x-ray screening
Out of respect for the decedent, under no circumstances, even at your request, will the cremation container be opened. Thus, the container must be x-rayed. The plastic or cardboard temporary urns provided by most funeral homes will pass through screening, as will wood urns and our lovely, lightweight yet durable fabric urns. Avoid metal.
2. Checked baggage or carry-on: check with your airline
You may transport an urn with you as a carry-on once it has passed through the screening process. Some airlines will not allow cremation urns as checked baggage, so it is best to check with the air carrier to determine the best method beforehand.
However, to ensure the safety of the contents, we would recommend that you travel with the urn as a carry-on.
3. Carry a Certificate of Cremation and/or Death
There are some airlines that require a certificate of cremation to properly identify the remains. Not all do, but if you have the certificate of cremation and a copy of the death certificate, it can help speed up the process.
4. Make sure the urn meets carry on or checked bag requirements
Most airlines allow a maximum size of 22” x 14” x 9” for carry-ons. Checked baggage sizes will vary, but most cremation urns will be under the requirements for checked bags.
5. Other restrictions: check with your airline
While asking about checked vs. carry-on, be sure to inquire about any other restrictions your air carrier may have concerning the transportation of cremated remains.