After a cremation has taken place you may wish to travel to another state or overseas with the cremated remains. You may be taking your loved one back home for a special memorial service, or wish to scatter them in a special holiday spot.  

This is definitely allowed. There are no legislative requirements in relation to taking cremated remains outside Australia.  Simply follow these tips and steps below to make your journey hassle-free.

  • Ensure the remains are contained in a sealed, non-metallic container free from contaminants such as soil.
  •  We would recommend keeping the remains in the container they come to you from the crematorium. These containers are a solid plastic, resistant to breaking, are well sealed and have details on the container specifying contents.
  • Cremated remains can be in you carry on or check-in luggage.
  • Have with you some documentation confirming the contents of the container as cremated remains. Obtain this from the crematorium or your funeral director.  If you are a Bare Cremation customer please contact us to organise the required document. Some countries also require the Official Death Certificate, so having a copy of that is best. 
  • We recommend you check with the country the ashes will be taken to for their specific incoming requirements. A list of foreign embassies and consulates in Australia can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
  • On arrival if you are planning to scatter the remains, check with local authorities if they have any restrictions or requirements.

Just to clarify we checked  with a couple of airlines and this is what we found:

Travelling with Ashes on Virgin Australia flights

Cremated remains in the form of ashes may be stored in carry-on or checked baggage but must be shipped in funeral urns which are effectively cushioned against breakage by suitable packaging. The ashes must be contained in a sealed container (urn) of such construction that there can be no risk of accidental spillage.

A funeral urn carried in the cabin as carry-on baggage by a guest must conform to the following conditions before being accepted:

  • The ashes must be contained in a sealed container (funeral urn) of such construction that there can be no risk of accidental spillage.
  • The guest must have a letter from a funeral director or crematorium identifying the contents as human remains.
  • The urn must pass through security screening with the guest.
  • Guests are not required to open the urn at security screen, but if the urn is stored in another bag the outer bag has to be opened to view the actual container the ashes are in.
  • The urn is wholly contained inside a suitable carry-on bag that conforms to carry-on baggage size and weight limits. The bag and the urn are to remain closed during flight.

Travelling with Ashes on Qantas flights

Ashes (cremated remains) may be carried as checked or carry-on baggage.

Ensure that the container used to hold the ashes is free from contaminants such as soil.

The container and packaging for the ashes may be inspected or examined.

Passengers travelling with human remains require an official document from the crematorium confirming contents.

Weight cannot exceed 7kg and the container must be sealed properly to stop any leakage.

The container will need to be screened.

There you go, just a few simple guidelines to follow and you can take your loved ones remains back home overseas or to a special place of significance somewhere around the world. Once again, just another way you can go your own way and do what feels right for having a loved one farewelled and remembered in their own unique way.

We hope this article about travelling with ashes has provided you a better understanding of the requirements. For ideas on ways to personalise a memorial with ashes, read our articles on 10 Alternatives to a Traditional Funeral Service and Types of memorials after a Bare cremation.

If you have any further questions or to get a quote for a cremation visit the Bare Cremation website or call 1800 071 176.

About Bare Cremation

Bare Cremation is Australia’s best direct cremation service. Our mission is to ensure every Australian has the option of an affordable, seamless and stress-free funeral service that can be arranged online or over the phone in minutes, at a fraction of the price of traditional funeral homes. We’ve cut out the need to go to a funeral home and made a complicated process simple by offering an affordable, transparent and easy alternative. Find out more by visiting the Bare Cremation website.