Transporting ashes

Old Nov 11, 19, 1:21 pm
  #1  
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Transporting ashes

My auntie passed away recently.
Her wish was that her ashes to be scattered at the cliffs of Dover.

I need to transport her ashes from Hungary, but the bureaucracy around it is very complicated and could take up to a month.

Would I have an issue transporting the ashes in hand luggage or checked luggage if I don’t disclose what it is?

I read somewhere that transporting it is permitted on BA flights but I wonder if I would encounter issues on the ground.

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:26 pm
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I have done it twice. Both times in checked baggage on BA, Cathay and Qatar. You should get a certificate from the crematorium to take with them if asked for.

Do not put in hand luggage would be my advice.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:27 pm
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Do they scan the checked luggages? I wonder how likely it is to be picked up?
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:31 pm
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Checked luggage is scanned, arguably more thoroughly - technically - than hand luggage. Here is the official BA advice:
We're so sorry that you've lost a loved one and are now taking them on a journey to their final resting place.

You can take their cremated remains (ashes) onto our flights in either your hand baggage or checked baggage. We just ask that, in order to comply with regulations, you carry with you a Certificate of Death, or other country-specific equivalent. (Please be aware that this document must have been issued by a competent/official authority from your country of departure.)

We'd ask you to place the remains in a tightly-sealed and sturdy outer box or case. If you're carrying them in your hand baggage we need to advise you that full security procedures will still have to be be followed in the airport and the sealed box/urn must be x-rayed at the airport security team. Because of this, it's very important to know that if your urn/container is made of a material that prevents the x-ray screener from clearly being able to see what is inside, then the container won't be allowed through with you. (It's not policy at airport security locations to open any urn and look in it, out of respect for the person who has passed.)

Our IAG Cargo team can also help with travel arrangements for human remains, including flying your loved ones home in a coffin. The coffin doesn't need to be accompanied by a family member/friend on the same flight. More information and to get help with this is available here:
(link to IAG Cargo)

Contact IAG Cargo if you have any further questions:
>Contact IAG Cargo

If you're taking your pet's ashes with you, we need you to have the following documentation with you: confirmation of their death from a vet, along with confirmation of their cremation. The information above about packing them securely would also apply to these remains too.
Personally I would suggest taking the remains as hand luggage to avoid significant problems if they get mislaid, but equally one would hope that anyone carrying ashes as hand luggage would be checking all the time to prevent leaving them on board - I know of a situation where this caused a huge amount of trouble.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:33 pm
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Have done this on Flybe taking my mothers ashes in hand luggage and this was not a problem. Last thing I wanted was her ashes in checked in luggage and then getting lost. Having said that I would suggest checking the airline’a policy to be absolutely sure
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:34 pm
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yes checked luggage is scanned.

IIRC there is info on transporting ashes on the BA website. - beathn to it bu c-w-s above!

You really should do this properly and get the right paperwork and that includes checking with Dover Council if there are special arrangements for scattering ashes over the white cliffs.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:35 pm
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Thanks everyone.
The main problem I have is that the Hungarian authorities might pick up that the ashes are being transported out of the country.
So my question was mainly how likely it would be that ashes are picked up on an airport either in hand luggage or checked luggage?
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:43 pm
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Is it illegal to transport ashes out of Hungary??

As to security it depends on how they show up on the scanner and their reactions to the scan display.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Jerseylily2 View Post
I have done it twice. Both times in checked baggage on BA, Cathay and Qatar. You should get a certificate from the crematorium to take with them if asked for.

Do not put in hand luggage would be my advice.

When transporting Mums ashes I did tell dad that there was a slight chance they could go missing. He just said not to worry she loved travel. I did the same for his ashes recently.

The suggestion to put in checked luggage was that of a family member in the military services as I was in transit through the far and middle East and describing the contents of the sealed boxes in hand luggage he thought could be problematic.

Be sure to have death certificate and where possible cremation certificates with you.

But as with all things BA CWS it the lead.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Jerseylily2 View Post
He just said not to worry she loved travel.
What a great thing to say!
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Old Nov 11, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
What a great thing to say!
They knew each other well!

They met in an internment camp in Germany in 1942/3 got married and had first child in 1945 after liberation back to blighty. Married 65 years!
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Old Nov 11, 19, 2:08 pm
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We carried ashes on a US domestic flight without trouble. We had paperwork but I don't think we were asked for it. The ashes were in a plastic bag in a cardboard box which may have helped. They were run through the scanner on their own and we were told that they are dense and hard to scan so an urn might make things more difficult.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 3:08 pm
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When we flew my dad from London to Belfast we didn't even think about it.

Popped in in a rucksack and off we went. Got through both ends without any issues whatsoever.

I cant see why hungry would have an issue with it.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by eugegall View Post
When we flew my dad from London to Belfast we didn't even think about it.

Popped in in a rucksack and off we went. Got through both ends without any issues whatsoever.

I cant see why hungry would have an issue with it.
Different countries have different laws. In most of Germany, for example, it is illegal to handle, transport or scatter human remains.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 5:37 pm
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Sorry for your loss.

I carried my dad’s ashes last year on a BA flight from Singapore (where he died) to the UK. I had the cremation permit / certificate and death certificate, which weren’t needed in the end. The local funeral director in Singapore gave us a plastic urn which resembled a time capsule to enable easy xraying.

I would absolutely follow whatever requirements are in place in Hungary - I think the British Embassy should be able to advise. The below suggests ‘minimal bureaucracy’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ackinformation
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