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Carrying ashes on a British Airways flight

Carrying ashes on a British Airways flight

Travelling with ashes can be tricky it is best to get thing right from the start, so that you experience the minimum disruption.  So if you intending to take cremation ashes on an British Airways flight, this is what they say:

Can I take cremated remains or a full urn when I fly with British Airways? 

Cremated remains can be carried onto our flights in either your hand baggage or checked baggage.

In order to comply with regulations, you’ll need to carry with you a Certificate of Death (or other country-specific equivalent) issued by a competent authority from the country of departure. You’ll also need to ensure that the cremated remains are packed in a sealed outer box or case.

Please be aware that if you are carrying them in your hand baggage, full security procedures will still have to be be applied and the sealed box/urn will be x-rayed at the airport security point. Therefore, we need to advise you that if the urn is made of a material that prevents the x-ray screener from clearly being able to see what is inside, then the container will not be allowed through the security checkpoint. (It is not policy at airport security locations to open any urn, out of respect.)

18 thoughts on “Carrying ashes on a British Airways flight

  1. Reply
    Gail Westwood - 23rd May 2022

    I have a small urn (approx 8” high) which has a metal base and I will be carrying it as hand luggage. I have a copy of the death certificate.
    Will it be a problem to get through security ?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th May 2022

      Can the contents of the urn be scanned, you say the base is metal but no mention of the main part of the urn itself.

  2. Reply
    Jack - 3rd May 2022

    I have my dad’s ashes in an oak box with wax seals to be applied at the embassy. Will airport scanners be able to scan through 5/8″ oak?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 4th May 2022

      Yes I would think so.

  3. Reply
    Julie Lilian Wilkes - 5th November 2021

    I am taking dad’s ashes back to his beloved Scotland on thursday 18 November – can yo please confirm that you are aware I am on flight BA1474

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th November 2021

      I would suggest contacting British Airways directly. Hope it goes well

  4. Reply
    Jo - 18th August 2021

    Hi
    I would like to take some of my dads ashes to Bardot with me in a Sealed tube from the funeral directors. I have the certificate of death and a letter from the funeral directors is this adequate to take on the British Airways flight with me?

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 19th August 2021

      I would think that would be fine – this is our main page for carrying ashes

  5. Reply
    Georgina Osborne - 1st July 2021

    Can I carry my husband’s ashes in the same box the funeral director gave them to me.I’m travelling home to Ireland to give my in-laws some of there brother’s ashes,they already have it arranged with the graveyard at home to put some in with there parents I have the death cert and the travel form I just can’t bear to open the box on my own as he only passed in February

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 5th July 2021

      Georgina
      I couldn’t say with any degree of certainty, I appreciate that it is distressing to transfer the ashes. I would suggest directing this question to British Airways and if they say the ashes need to be in a different container call your funeral directors as they would do this for you….
      I hope this helps.
      Regards
      Richard

  6. Reply
    Karen Butler - 20th June 2021

    I want to take some of my mothers ashes to Italy from the UK to scatter on Lake Garda. Is there anything I should be aware of please ? Many thanks

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 21st June 2021

      Dear Karen

      Very few other countries have such relaxed laws around the scattering of ashes. The practice is frowned upon in most other countries, Catholic countries like Italy don’t not kike. I know people have scattered at Lake Garda, but they have done so without permission.

      Kind regards
      Richard

  7. Reply
    Bonnie Leung - 18th March 2021

    Will fly to UK next week. What is the procedure or documents for hand carrying my pet’s (dog) bone ash?

  8. Reply
    Tracy Lavery - 5th March 2019

    Can I carry my dogs ashes. I want to take him home to Scotland to scatter them. I’m travelling from the USA. I have a cremation certificate

    1. Reply
      Ammon Enterprises Ltd - 6th March 2019

      Dear Tracy
      We would advise speaking with your airline to discuss how the ashes should be packaged and the paperwork you require. We wouldn’t expect you to encounter any problems.

  9. Reply
    Faye - 6th April 2017

    Thank you, Hannah! One very helpful lady at BA directed me to that very same page on their website with current information –
    I have an original death certificate, Certificate of Cremation, and (possibly unique to Arizona) a Disposition-Transit Permit from the Department of Health Services – Bureau of Vital Records. The Funeral Director was very helpful and checked that the urn encased in a sealed wooden box may be x-rayed. When I booked my return flight, I also asked that a note be placed on the passenger manifest as to what I am carrying. This was suggested to me by BA when I booked my flight out to Arizona to say final good-bye’s to my mother. BA have always been kind but it was an extra kind gesture that I did appreciate at an emotional time.
    Many thanks for your help!

  10. Reply
    Faye - 4th April 2017

    I’m going to be carrying my mother’s ashes from the USA to Scotland on a British Airways flight and I have the death certificate, a certificate of cremation and a Disposition-Transit Permit from the state health department. The lady I spoke to at BA is checking if I can carry the ashes with me but I’m looking for assurance that security at Heathrow or that someone in BA will not try to put the ashes in the luggage hold. This is one instance when I would like to be certain of what is allowed! The container can be x-rayed. Is BA still allowing passengers to carry ashes on board? The post above is over a year old. Many thanks for your help!

    1. Reply
      Hannah - 4th April 2017

      This is still correct, I have spoken with BA this morning and they have confirmed the following information on their website is still true:

      “Question
      Can I take cremated remains or a full urn when I fly with British Airways?
      Answer

      Cremated remains can be carried onto our flights in either your hand baggage or checked baggage.

      In order to comply with regulations, you’ll need to carry with you a Certificate of Death (or other country-specific equivalent) issued by a competent authority from the country of departure. You’ll also need to ensure that the cremated remains are packed in a sealed outer box or case.

      Please be aware that if you are carrying them in your hand baggage, full security procedures will still have to be be applied and the sealed box/urn will be x-rayed at the airport security point. Therefore, we need to advise you that if the urn is made of a material that prevents the x-ray screener from clearly being able to see what is inside, then the container will not be allowed through the security checkpoint. (It is not policy at airport security locations to open any urn, out of respect.)”

      https://www.britishairways.com/travel/gsanswer/public/en_gb?faqid=688&gsLink=searchResults

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