Cremations are among the cremations services that we provide. After cremation, the cremains may need to be packaged and shipped to another location. That location may a place that was special to the deceased or it may be back to where the deceased considered home. Often, people want to be buried wherever their family members are buried.
Funeral home directors will handle the process of shipping human remains for burial somewhere else, but if the process is not that simple, then family members will get the cremains and will assume responsibility for making sure they get to the final destination where they will be buried or stored in a columbarium.
Almost all domestic U.S. airlines will carry cremains. You can either take the cremains in carry-on luggage or you can have the cremains sent as air cargo.
However, one important element of air shipment is the container in which the cremains are stored. The container has to be security friendly, because it will be scanned and approved by the TSA. Security friendly containers are urns that are lightweight and have very thin walls (wood and plastic are two materials that meet these criteria). If you let the funeral home director know that you intend to ship the cremains by air, they will make sure that the cremains are stored in a TSA-approved container.
If the cremains are stored in any other kind of container, then it will not be allowed through security. TSA scanners can’t see through materials like metal and ceramic to determine the contents inside. TSA agents are not allowed to open containers with cremains. If the container holding the cremains, therefore, cannot be scanned, then your options are to leave the container behind and take the flight without them, or to skip the flight (airline fares are non-refundable) and reschedule another flight when the cremains are in a security-friendly container.
Always ensure that the airline you are flying with will carry cremains. If the airline’s website doesn’t specify whether the airline will carry cremains (and have a list of rules and requirements for carrying cremains), don’t make the assumption that the airline will carry them. The best rule of thumb is to contact the airline directly and ask about its policy regarding cremains before you go to the airport with your container of cremains.
To be on the safe side as far as paperwork goes, be sure to have original signed versions of all documents that are relevant. This includes a certified death certificate, the cremation authorization form, the cremains receipt, and the authority of the authorizing agent form.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is the only authorized shipping method for shipping cremains domestically or internationally. No other shipping company will knowingly or can accept or transport cremains.
When shipping by USPS, be sure to have the cremains in a strong, durable container (funeral directors can provide these if you let them know you’ll be shipping the cremains by USPS). All domestic cremains shipments are sent by USPS Priority Mail Express. International cremains shipments are sent using USPS Priority Mail Express International Service. Be sure, if you’re shipping cremains internationally, that the country you’re shipping to doesn’t forbid the receipt of cremains. Check with the embassy of that country for their policies before you ship the cremains.
In addition, you need to know that all cremains shipped via USPS must have a Label 139. This sticker makes the package more visible and designates it as cremains (for handling purposes).
For more information about our cremations services, depend on our compassionate and experienced team at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home to help you. You can visit our funeral home at 483 Chenango St., Binghamton, NY 13901, or you can call us today at (607) 722-4023.