Taking ashes on an Emirates flight

We reached out to Emirates through various channels to get an in-depth understanding of their policies and procedures for travelling with ashes on their flights.

Can you take ashes on a plane with Emirates?

Emirates permits the transportation of human and pet ashes on their flights, but it is essential to follow their specific guidelines to make your journey successful.

  • You can take the ashes as a part of your carry-on or hold luggage.
  • When taking them as cabin baggage, you will need to present any of the following documents: the original death certificate, the original cremation certificate, or the original passport of the deceased.
  • For hold luggage, you must have ALL the previously listed documents, including a certificate of death issued by a competent authority at the origin.
  • Ashes must be transported in a suitable container. This should be non-metallic and made from security-friendly materials, e.g. glass, ceramic, marble, wood or plastic. 
  • The container for your ashes should be strong with an airtight seal. If travelling with the container in your carry-on, it must be cushioned by suitable packaging against turbulence, shock or damage.
  • Ashes can be transported in an urn made of suitable materials.
  • You must contact Emirates after making a booking, as they will need to add a note to it explaining that you’re travelling with ashes.

Failing to have the necessary documentation or an adequate container when travelling with ashes on Emirates may result in the removal of the ashes from your baggage and the denial of boarding. Proper preparation is crucial to prevent any unfortunate and easily avoidable complications.

Emirates flight urn restrictions

Emirates allows you to transport ashes within an urn on their flights, providing you follow these rules:

  1. The urn must be made from materials that can be X-ray scanned. Materials such as glass, wood, plastic, marble or ceramic are all acceptable. You should ensure the urn is non-metallic to avoid any issues at airport security.
  2. The urn lid must be securely sealed and the urn placed within a sealed outer box or case that is securely packed and cushioned against turbulence, shock and damage.
  3. The urn (within its case) must fit within your hand or hold luggage.
  4. The urn plus luggage cannot exceed Emirates weight restriction. 7kg max carry-on, 20kg max hold luggage (depending on your route and ticket type.)
  5. The urn and hand luggage cannot exceed Emirates size restrictions.

Emirates flight baggage allowance

All Emirates customers are allowed one 7kg piece of hand luggage measuring 55cm x 38cm x 20cm. You may be entitled to more depending on your ticket type or flight destination.

Emirates standard hold luggage weight is 20kg, but depending on your destination or ticket type you may be entitled to a heavier bag.

Emirates has the discretion to store hand luggage in the hold under certain circumstances, so we recommend using a sturdy urn that is securely packaged within your bag to avoid damage.

Where can I fly to with ashes? 

Emirates permits the transportation of human and animal ashes to any destinations they fly, as long as you have notified them in advance and have the certificate of death on hand. 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.