Air Transportation for Funeral
With a more transient population
today, and with the size of the United States alone, the need for the transportation
of human remains has been growing in demand. As families have moved
away from their State of origin for employment, relationships or retirement,
so has the issue of ‘repatriating’ their remains following death become
a flourishing business.
It is not so uncommon these
days for a family member to have passed away, and the family and/or Funeral
Home to have to make arrangements to transport the deceased back to their
home state for a funeral.
Most of the Airlines operating
in the United States do offer cargo services for the transportation of
human remains and cremated remains. These services vary dependent
upon the airline, but all do strive to offer a compassionate and specialized
service to assist in the transportation of funeral shipments.
The airlines usually employ
a specially trained team to address all the travel-related issues that
may arise when shipping such very sensitive cargo. These teams
can advise on the regulations that relate to the shipping of human remains
across states, and even returning human remains from outside of the United
In many states and countries,
regulations do require embalming, although it is not always a requirement
provided the body is transported in a sealed casket. There are fewer restrictions
related to cremated remains and these may be shipped in a sealed urn, and
carefully packed to protect against breakage. In both cases, the airline
transporting the remains will require a death certificate showing the cause
of death, and may have other hygienic requirements that must be met.
It is difficult to give a
definitive guide to pricing for the transportation of human remains, as
routes, schedules and cargo regulations do vary between airlines.
The transportation of cremated remains is much less expensive due to the
need for less restrictions and the weight difference. One can expect
to transport cremated remains within the U.S for prices starting at around
$100, dependent upon airline and the distance of shipping. The costs
for transporting human remains does vary significantly in relation to the
weight, type of container and distance of shipping. Prices for transporting
within the U.S. can start from around $140 but amount to as much as $2,000
(before fuel surcharges and tax). Prices for shipping either to or
from outside of the U.S. can again vary tremendously but can start at around
$325 and rise to as much as $3,300.
It is recommended that you
research the services offered to assess what best suits your needs.
You may find that your Funeral Home can handle all of this for you, but
be sure to check that you are getting best value. Although some Funeral
Homes may have discounted arrangements with a preferred shipping company,
this may not always be the most cost-effective carrier for your personal
Many airlines may also offer
reduced rates for bereavement travel, so if you are transporting human
remains and require travel for family members as well, it is well worth
investigating which airlines offer this enhanced service as part of their
transportation services package.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Last Revised: 06/04/2013