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etihad carrying ashes

Etihad Airways cremation ashes policy

Carrying ashes on a Etihad Airways flight

Etihad Airways The Abu Dhabi based flight operator  has announced that it is rolling out new rules on carry-on bags aboard flights they are restricting certain powder material from cabin luggage. The good news is that there is certain exemptions and cremated remains is one of them:

1. Medically prescribed powder substances including baby formula and cremated human remains provided they are sealed, not tampered and have supporting evidence

Addendum 20/12/21:

Due to restrictions from the Abu Dhabi Airport Authorities, Etihad is unable to accept cremated remains in cabin baggage on flights from, to, or via Abu Dhabi. Cremated Remains can be carried in Checked Baggage, provided supporting documents are held by the traveller.


We would also advise that you speak to the embassy for the country of where you are travelling to, to see if there is likely to be any complications at that end. This can be problematic in certain northern European countries where ashes are treated in exactly the same way as a body.

24 thoughts on “Etihad Airways cremation ashes policy

  1. Reply
    Vipul Patel - 27th February 2024

    Hello, I am traveling from Chicago to Ahmedabad by Etihad airways and carrying my mother’s cremated remains. I have the permit from the funeral home and it’s in sealed urn. Can I carry the urn in my carry on (7kg) bag?

  2. Reply
    Patel - 24th February 2024

    I am traveling to Ahmedabad from Chicago. I am carrying my mom’s cremated remains. I have certificate and permit from the funeral home. The urn is sealed pack. Would I be able to carry the remains in my carry on bag.

  3. Reply
    Lyn O'Leary - 27th June 2023

    I am flying from Sydney to Manchester via Abu Dhabi with my father’s ashes. I have all of the relevant docs, DC, Letter from Funeral Home and Crematorium. Dad is in a sealed Urn. I understand the urn goes into my checke luggage but my question is:
    We are having a 2 day stopover in Abu Dhabi, will I have any difficulties exiting and re-entering the Terminal.
    Kind regards

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 29th June 2023

      Hi Lyn
      The urn will likely go in the hand luggage not the checked the luggage.
      Whilst I can’t guarantee anything – you should be absolutely fine.
      Kind regards

      1. Reply
        Nish - 27th January 2024

        Hi hope all is well how did the process go?
        I’m going Abu Dhabi next month with my mums ashes but I can’t seem to get clarification of what needs to be done I know k have to carry the ashes in a urn in checked baggage
        Ethiad have said they don’t need any paperwork which I find so strange and when I said do I have to advise or alert of the ashes been told not sure call the embassy but can’t get through to them.

        Any experience or help. Can i just travel with ashes in Checked baggage and exit airport as normal?

        Any help would be appreciated

  4. Reply
    Isa - 29th July 2022

    I will travelling from Switzerland via Abu Dhabi to Philippines
    With my husband ashes.th8s coming October. Can you explain the procedure on Etihad airlines

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 2nd August 2022

      Hi Isa

      Here you go – so basically in the hold seems fine.
      Kind regards

  5. Reply
    Amanda - 30th June 2022

    Hi travelling Etihad in August 2022 .I would like to bring a small jar of my mothers ashes back to the UK,how best to go about this.Should I put in carry on baggage or suitcase,afraid customs will take them off me

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 30th June 2022

      If you follow the advise on this page and the main page you will be fine.


  6. Reply
    Dipal Parekh - 23rd June 2022

    I am traveling on July via Etihaad from Chicago to Ahmedabad. I have the permit from I dian Consulate, the death certificate , and certificate from the funeral home. Can you please let me know if I can take it with me as a carry on . I don’t have any other carry on bag or purse with me besides my dear husband’s remains, the documents and my passport.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 27th June 2022

      That should be fine Dipal, as long as the urn can be X-rayed

    2. Reply
      V Patel - 28th February 2024

      Hi Dipal,

      I am in similar situation as you. Were you able to travel with your husband’s ashes as carry on without any issues? Please share your experience

  7. Reply
    Ruth Davies - 4th February 2022

    I am taking my husbands ashes to my daughter in Australia on a Etihad flight from Heathrow. Do I have to take them in my hand luggage .I have the death certificate and a letter from the undertakers .

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 15th February 2022

      Dear Ruth Etihad has recently been in touch and this is what they asked to change he website too, we sought further clarification but have heard nothing.
      Kind regards

  8. Reply
    JANINE - 11th December 2021


    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 17th December 2021

      Hi Jannie
      I am afraid I can’t help with that you would need to contact the airline directly.
      Kind regards

  9. Reply
    Dee - 22nd June 2021

    Is there any information on if the body had surgery with input prosthetics or plates? May people aren’t getting through TSA easily because of this. I know the TSA is more US based, but does international airport security “scan” the cremains?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 22nd June 2021

      Hi Dee
      Metal parts and other foreign elements are removed from the ashes after cremation, before the ashes are handed back to the family. I appreciate this may be different in the US. Yes they will scan the ashes.
      Kind regards

  10. Reply
    Mary jean - 30th June 2020

    I just wanna inquire the procedure on how to travel with carrying human remains on board from AUH to manila.thank you.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 1st July 2020

      I am not sure of anything different for those to locations, I would suggest contacting the airline as a first step.

  11. Reply
    Jane Taylor - 25th April 2019

    I will be flying from BHX to Harare on Etihad with mummy
    Mums ashes and have a supporting letter from the funeral home and ashes boxes in a non metallic container. Please advise if there is anything else I can do to prepare for this journey.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th April 2019

      I would take the creation and death certificate along with you. I hope that helps.

  12. Reply
    REBECCA - 24th January 2019

    I will traveling from Manchester via Abu Dhabi to SriLanka
    With my sons ashes. Can you please explain the procedure on Ethihad airlines

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th January 2019

      We have a page on Etihad policy

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