Traveling with an urn
Can You Fly with Cremated Remains?
Yes. You may bring a cremation container on the plane with you if certain conditions are met.
We realize how difficult it is to lose a loved one, but knowing and planning to meet these conditions ahead of time can help you avoid disappointment at the airport. For example, some airlines do not allow cremated remains as checked baggage, so please check with your air carrier first to learn about possible restrictions.
Passengers are allowed to carry a cremation container with them as part of their carry-on baggage. The container, however, must pass through the x-ray machine.
- It must be made of a material that allows the x-ray to clearly scan its contents.
- It must pass security screening. Documentation from a funeral home does not provide an exemption to this requirement.
- Screening officers are not permitted to open a cremation container, and they will not inspect the contents if you open it yourself.
- It cannot be placed in checked baggage if it has been x-rayed at pre-board screening and its contents could not be determined.
Before heading to the airport
Ask your funeral director about temporary containers for transportation purposes. These containers are more likely to pass through security. You can also bring your empty permanent container with you and arrange for a funeral home at your destination to transfer the container contents.
What cremation container materials will pass through the security checkpoint?
Due to differences in thickness, shape and material, some cremation containers are more likely to pass through security screening.
Plastic, cardboard or cloth containers are most likely to clear the x-ray machine and be permitted past the checkpoint.
Metal, granite and ceramic containers are least likely to be permitted past the checkpoint.
Options at the airport
If your container does not pass pre-board screening for carry-on baggage, you may:
- Leave the container with a friend or family member who is not travelling and still at the airport;
- Ask your airline representative to re-book you on a later flight, allowing you time to make other arrangements; or
- Ship the container via mail, cargo or courier. Please keep in mind that shipping options vary at airports.
For more information visit www.catsa.gc.ca or call 1 800 O-Canada.
Mailing of Cremated Remains
Cremated remains are acceptable for mailing if they are properly and carefully packaged and addressed. Purolator or other courier services cannot be used to ship cremated remains.
All of the following requirements must be met when shipping cremated remains:
- the remains must be enclosed in an urn or in an other receptacle with a lid that is cemented or sealed closed
- the receptacle must be protected with packaging material and inserted into a durable sift-proof metal container or a wooden box at least 1 cm thick which must be securely closed and sealed with reinforced tape
- the package must be accompanied by a certificate of cremation issued by the appropriate authority which must be enclosed in a plastic envelope attached securely to the top of the parcel
- extra care should be taken to ensure that both the destination and return addresses information is correct and complete.
For international shipments and specific packaging requirements of international destinations, see “Part H: International Destination Listing”.