You might want to take a loved one's cremated remains, or ashes, on an interstate or international trip after the cremation has taken place. However, you might be unsure if you can bring ashes on an aircraft.

Perhaps you want to scatter your loved one in a special location for a holiday or take them back home for a special memorial service, but you're not sure if it's permitted. Yes, it is the answer. There are no legal requirements for transporting cremated remains outside of Australia. You can store cremated remains in either your carry-on or checked bags.

If you want to transport ashes by air without any hassles, keep in mind the general advice below:

  • Make sure the remains are kept in a sealed, non-metallic container that is free of impurities like soil.
  • We advise keeping the cremated remains in the container they are delivered to you in. These containers are made with sturdy plastic that won't shatter easily, are well sealed, and have information on the container itself describing the contents.
  • Carry proof of cremation in your possession to prove the contents of the container. Get this from your funeral director or the crematorium. It is important to have a copy of the Official Death Certificate available because several nations also demand it.
  • We also advise you to inquire about the destination nation's particular entry criteria. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website has a list of all foreign embassies and consulates in Australia.
  • If you want to spread the remains after you arrive, ask the local authorities if there are any rules or regulations.

Cremated remains must be sent in funeral urns that are sufficiently protected against breaking by appropriate packaging if you plan to bring them on a Virgin Australia aircraft.

The container can be kept in either your checked or carry-on luggage. However, in order to be allowed as cabin carry-on baggage on a Virgin Australia flight, a guest's funeral urn must meet the requirements listed below:

  • The cremated remains must be kept in a sealed urn that is so well-made that there is no possibility of an unintentional spill.
  • The visitor must possess a letter identifying the contents as human remains from a funeral home or crematorium.
  • The visitor and the urn must go through security checks together.
  • The outer bag must be opened in order to see the actual container the ashes are in if the urn is stored in another bag.
  • Visitors are not obliged to open the urn at the security screen.
  • The urn must be completely enclosed inside a carry-on bag that meets the permitted size and weight restrictions. Both the bag and the urn must be kept closed throughout the flight.
Final thoughts on traveling with Ashes on planes

You're all set. You can transport your loved one's remains back home, abroad, or to a significant location anywhere in the world by following a few easy instructions.
Another way Australians can go their own way and do what feels right to ensure a loved one is farewell and remembered in their own unique way is by flying your loved one home or completing their final destination.
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