Taking the cremation urn on board of a plane

Taking the cremation urn on board of a plane

We are often asked whether it is possible to take a cremation urn on board of a plane. The answer is yes, but this is subject to a few conditions.

Bringing ashes on board in the passenger cabin (hand luggage)
Most airlines will allow you to carry the ashes of your loved one on board, on the condition that they are sealed in an urn that can be scanned by security X-rays, as the urn must be ‘checked’. X-ray machines will allow security staff to see the contents of the urn, after which you may carry the urn on board. In order to prevent awkward situations, we do recommend that you check with your airline beforehand.

The urn
Cremation urns made of marble, synthetic materials or wood are allowed in cabin luggage. These urns can be scanned by X-ray security machines. The urn must be sealed airtight by the crematorium. This may be done either by a screw-on lid or by a snap-on lid in the case of a 'standard' ash container. Urns with a loose lid, should have the lid glued to the urn.

If your urn is made of another material and has a removable lid, it may also be carried in your hand luggage, but it must be empty (security staff must be able to check the interior of the urn). You can also have the urn shipped by a package delivery service such as DHL. Steel boxes or heavy metal urns must be checked in.

The urn may be carried in a sturdy plastic bag. However, an urn bag is more discreet. Please check the accessories category for our options.

Official documents or permits are not required. In order to prevent any unwanted problems at the security check (for instance, in countries where such checks are uncommon), you may ask your crematorium for an English declaration (statement) about the cremation and death, so that security personnel understand what they are admitting into their country.

Scattering ashes abroad
Every country has its own rules regarding the scattering of ashes. It is always wise to enquire with the embassy of the country in question.