Carrying ashes onboard a British Airways flight

Taking Ashes on a British Airways Plane

We’ve been in contact with British Airways to find out the rules and regulations regarding traveling with ashes on their flights.

Can You Take Ashes on a Plane With British Airways?

British Airways allows you to travel with human and animal ashes on their flights. However, you should know their processes and what they require from you if doing so.

  • Human and pet ashes can be transported in your hand or hold luggage. We suggest taking them in your hand luggage for extra safety.
  • British Airways requires you to travel with a copy of the death certificate. If you’re travelling with a pet’s ashes, we recommend taking the certificate of cremation if you cannot be issued a certificate of death.
  • You must transport the ashes in a suitable sealed container inside your luggage. This container must be non-metallic if taken in your hand luggage so it can be scanned by X-ray at security. 
  • Ashes can be transported in an urn, but the urn must be made of materials that can be scanned by X-ray.

If you neglect to follow this guidance, your loved one’s ashes run the chance of not being permitted through security and will not be accepted onboard. 

When carrying your ashes in hand luggage, security will refuse them if you choose a container that cannot be scanned by X-ray. Security cannot open the container under any circumstances, even if you request it.

British Airways Flight Urn Restrictions

British Airways allow ashes to be transported in an urn but requires it to follow these specifications:

  • The urn must be made from security-friendly materials. It must be non-metallic and made from glass, ceramic, plastic, wood or marble. 
  • The urn must be sealed tightly by the urn’s own device (screw-top lid, for example) or glued with a strong adhesive.
  • The urn must fit within your luggage. It must be transported within a bag, whether in your hand or hold luggage.
  • The urn must fit within British Airways baggage weight restrictions -23kg max hand luggage, 23kg max hold luggage.
  • The urn must fit British Airways baggage size restrictions.

You may find it easiest to travel with a plastic screw-top container or scatter tube rather than a heavy urn.

British Airways Flight Baggage Allowance

British Airways allow all customers to travel with one piece of overhead hand luggage measuring 56cm x 45cm x 25cm and one small bag that measures 40cm 30cm x 15cm. These bags can weigh up to 23kg each and can be taken in the cabin with you.

British Airways’ standard hold luggage size allowance is 90cm x 75cm x 43cm, weighing up to 23kg. You will be charged an extra fee if you go over this limit.

British Airways can place your overhead hand luggage in the hold at their discretion, and your small bag is stored under the seat in front of you. We recommend travelling with a sturdy urn made from a material that will not break. We also recommend packaging the outside of the urn well to add an extra level of security.

Where Can I Fly to With Ashes? 

British Airways will let you travel to any destination with ashes if you have the correct paperwork and have stored the ashes appropriately. However, it would be best to research your destination country’s regulations regarding transporting ashes, as every country differs.

British Airways requires less paperwork than many countries want, so to avoid disappointment, it’s best to understand what your destination country needs.

Contacting your destination country’s embassy and asking for their requirements is the best way to confirm you have adequate paperwork and make your trip as stress-free as possible.