Taking Ashes on an Air India Plane

flying with ashes on an air india flight

Taking Ashes on an Air India Plane

We’ve asked Air India to clarify their rules and regulations when travelling with ashes on their flights. We hope this information provides peace of mind and alleviates anxiety over your upcoming trip.

Can you take ashes on an Air India flight?

Air India allows you to take human ashes only on their planes. If you are travelling with ashes, Air India has a number of regulations that you must follow.

  • Air India allows you to travel with the ashes in your carry-on or your hold luggage. We recommend taking it in your carry-on, as it will be safer and provide you peace of mind.
  • You must be travelling with the cremation certificate, the death certificate, the deceased’s passport, a Consular certificate (from the office of the Consular of the deceased’s nationality) and a copy of the Police Certificate if the death was unnatural.
  • You must also have a Sealing certificate/ Customs sealing letter/ Funeral Directors Declaration. This document is issued by a funeral director or crematorium and states the ashes container is hermetically sealed (airtight) and only contains the deceased’s ashes. It also includes information on the deceased.
  • Ashes must be transported in a funeral urn.
  • You must inform the health officer at your destination airport that you’re travelling with human ashes at least 48 hours before arrival. The airline will also notify them. The health officer will then check the sealing certificate and container before allowing them off the plane.

Air India Flight Urn Restrictions

When using an urn as a container for ashes, you should ensure the following:

  • The urn must be made from non-metallic security-friendly materials that will pass through an x-ray. Materials such as glass, wood, zinc, plastic, marble or ceramic are all acceptable. 
  • The urn lid must be sealed airtight.
  • The urn must be securely packed and cushioned against turbulence, shock and damage.

Air India Flight Baggage Allowance

Air India Carry-on Baggage Allowance

  • The urn must be transported within your carry-on.
  • It must fit within Air India’s cabin baggage size restrictions. As standard, all domestic and international passengers are allowed one small cabin bag measuring 55cm x 35cm x 20cm.
  • For economy class passengers, it must weigh less than 8kg.
  • For business class passengers, it must weigh less than 12kg.

Air India Hold Baggage Allowance

  • The urn must be transported within your hold luggage.
  • It must fit within Air India’s hold baggage size restriction. All customers get two pieces of baggage allowance on Air India flights.
  • The sum of the 3 dimensions (length + width + height) of each piece of luggage must not exceed 158cm (62 inches).
  • The total combined dimensions (length + width + height) of both pieces of luggage should not exceed 273cm (107 inches). 
  • For economy class passengers, it must weigh less than 23kg.
  • For business class passengers, it must weigh less than 32kg.

Where can I fly to with ashes? 

Air India permits the transportation of human ashes to any destination they fly, as long as you have the appropriate paperwork. Each country has unique laws and regulations regarding the transportation of ashes. Therefore we suggest researching the requirements of your destination country carefully.

Failing to have the appropriate documents when arriving in a foreign country may result in customs confiscating your loved one’s ashes or being denied entry by customs. To prevent stress and disappointment, we recommended contacting the country’s embassy to enquire about the necessary paperwork for transporting ashes across the border.