Can I carry ashes on a plane? What the airlines say

If a family member or friend wants their ashes scattered abroad, or taken back to the country of their birth, for example, you will need to find out if the airline allows ashes to be carried and what additional documentation you may need to be able to fly.

Here travel journalist and expert Pete Barden looks at the requirements of popular airlines flying from the UK, and what they need to allow human ashes to be carried on their planes.

A plane flies into the sunset, suggesting a passenger is carrying ashes of a loved one to be scattered on final journeyCan you take your loved one's ashes on their final journey? Find out what airlines say here (Credit: Pxhere)

Do airlines allow human ashes to be carried on planes?

Here is our airline-by-airline guide to if human ashes can be carried on their planes...

Aer Lingus         

Aer Lingus allow our customers to carry human ashes that are contained in an urn as either checked or hand baggage. The undertaker or funeral director who has supplied the ashes, must ensure the urn is secured in a padded leak proof container that is not made of metal, because it will be put through an x-ray machine. Additionally, the holder must be in possession of a death certificate and cremation certificate to be allowed carry ashes on board.

Air Canada        

Cremated remains may be carried on board in hand luggage, provided they are stored in a cardboard or wooden box or an urn made of a material that can be security screened and not made of metal. The urn or box must be secure to avoid any spillage. A certificate of cremation or death certificate is not required for the carriage of ashes by Air Canada, but international travellers should check requirements in the country of departure or arrival.            

Air New Zealand             

For passengers carrying human ashes, the airline will require a certificate of Death, certificate of Cremation. It will also require a statement from the crematorium or funeral director that ashes only are contained in the urn. It must also be made of non-metallic material to ensure it can be screen.  

American Airlines           

American Airlines, says when you travel with cremated remains, they’ll be treated as your carry-on bag. Not documentation is needed for domestic US flights, but international travel with American Airlines will need a death certificate and cremation certificate. The urn must also be made of a non-metal material that can be put through an x-ray machine.           

British Airways 

Passengers can take cremated remains (ashes) onto flights in either hand baggage or checked baggage. There is no need to advise the airline in advance, but you will need to carry a Certificate of Death, or other country-specific equivalent. The remains must be in a tightly sealed container and strong outer container if being taken as hand luggage. All containers must be made of material that can be scanned, or the ashes will not be allowed on the aircraft.


You can take human or pet ashes with you in your cabin bag, but you must have a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the cremation certificate. The ashes must be securely packed in an appropriate container. You should also let security staff at the airport know that you’re carrying ashes when passing through the security area.

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Ashes are permitted, but can only be carried with prior approval from The ashes must be contained in a suitable container – that can be screened by security - and must be carried as hand baggage. Passengers carrying the ashes will also need to comply with the production of relevant certificates required by the country of departure and arrival.      


Passengers can carry human ashes on the plane with them - along with one piece of carry-on baggage. The bearer must have a copy of the death certificate and the cremation certificate with them. The ashes must be securely packaged in a suitable container with a screw top lid and protected from being broken.       


Passenger can take ashes on a TUI flight, but they will need to carry them throughout the entire flight on their lap. The bearer will need to show the death certificate at check-in and customs. Travellers wishing to carry ashes will need to alert TUI ahead of travel, so a note can be added to their booking. Call 0203 451 2688. Calls from UK landlines cost the standard rate, but calls from mobiles may be higher. Check with your network provider.         

Virgin Atlantic   

Virgin Atlantic will permit passengers to travel with human remains – providing they have the relevant death certificate. The ashes must be kept in a secure and sturdy container made out of a material that can be scanned by airport security.              

Wizz Air             

Ashes can be carried on board a Wizz Air flight, as long as they are packed in a suitable container that will not leak. The death certificate and the cremation certificate must be shown at the airport. The airline also states that ashes can only be carried as cabin baggage      

How much does it cost to fly with ashes?

You should not be charged any additional fee to carry your loved one's ashes.        

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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