Sending Human and Cremated Remains

Transportation Guidelines from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes is an accredited Approved Air Cargo Known Consignor with trained and knowledgeable staff able to guide your family through this entire process.

Traveling with Cremated Remains

We realize how difficult it is to lose a loved one, but knowing and planning to meet required conditions ahead of time can help you avoid disappointment at the airport.

You may bring cremated remains in a cremation container or urn on the plane with you, but first it must pass through the X-ray.

  • It must be made of a material that allows the X-ray to clearly scan its contents.
  • It must pass security screening. Documentation from a funeral home does not provide an exemption to this requirement.
  • Screening officers are not permitted to open a cremation container, and they will not inspect the contents if you open it yourself.
  • It cannot be placed in checked baggage if it has been X-rayed at pre-board screening and its contents could not be determined.

Some airlines do not allow cremated remains in checked baggage, so please check with your airline first to learn about possible restrictions.

Before going to the Airport:

  • Ask your funeral director about temporary containers for transportation purposes. These containers are more likely to pass through security.
  • You can also bring your empty permanent container with you and arrange for a funeral home at your destination to transfer the container contents.
  • Due to differences in thickness, shape and material, some cremation containers are more likely to pass through security screening.

Most likely to be permitted:

  • Stone
  • Cloth
  • Ceramic
  • Wood

Least likely to be permitted:

  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Cardboard 

Options at the Airport

If your container does not pass pre-board screening for carry-on baggage, you may:

  • Leave the container with a friend or family member who is not travelling and still at the airport;
  • Ask your airline representative to re-book you on a later flight, allowing you time to make other arrangements; or
  • Ship the container via mail, cargo or courier. Please keep in mind that shipping options vary at airports.
  • Screening officers are not permitted to open a cremation container, and they will not inspect the contents if you open it yourself, unless it is empty.
  • It cannot be placed in checked baggage if it has been x-rayed at pre-board screening and did not pass security.

Cremation container and documentation requirements when travelling can vary, depending on your destination. If you are travelling internationally, we suggest you contact the embassy for the country of your destination before you fly to determine their specific requirements concerning the transport of cremated remains.

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Shipping Human Remains FAQ

Can The Family Fly On The Same Flight As The Deceased?

  • Unfortunately this is not always possible. The flights that are used to coordinate transporting human remains are not always commercial flights and those that are commercial flights may change under the discretion of the airlines.

Can Additional Items (Such As Mementos) Be Shipped In The Casket Or Urn?

  • No. Additional items other than the necessary paperwork and the clothing articles worn by the deceased may not accompany the shipment.

Does Clothing Have To Be Provided?

  • Our staff will provide cloth shrouding in the event that the family is unable to, or wishes not to provide clothing (for spiritual or cultural reasons, for example).

Can A Service Or Visitation Be Held In Canada Before The Shipment Proceeds?

  • Absolutely. Additional costs apply, but it is a common request.

Are There Alternatives To Formal Shipment?

There are no alternatives for shipping a body to another country. However, some countries allow family members to travel with cremated remains into the country as long as they carry the pertinent documentation with them. The family must note that if they are travelling on a commercial flight with the remains, they should declare the urn as carry on and present the airline staff with the following:

  • Proof of Death Certificate
  • Certificate of Cremation
  • Letter of Contents (indicating the specified container holding the remains)
  • Certified Copy of the Medical Certificate Form 16 (if required by the receiving country)

For travel tips and a complete listing of all permitted and non-permitted items, please visit

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International Regulations

To see the regulations by country, please select the Country from the drop down menu below.