Can You Take Human Ashes on Delta Air Lines? A First-Hand Account

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While this guuide is primarily aimed at UK and Irish passengers flying outbound with human ashes, the same guidelines generally apply to all Delta Air Lines flights, regardless of departure or arrival location.
Travelling with ashes can be a complicated matter. From understanding the various guidelines to taking extra precautions to ensure the urn is properly sealed, it's a task that requires attention to detail. Based on our experience with calling Delta Air Lines, here's what you need to know if you plan to fly with human ashes.

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What Delta Air Lines Says: The Official Policy

Delta Air Lines allows humans ashes as either carry-on or checked baggage. However, there are specific requirements you must meet:  
  • Cremation or Death Certificate: Delta mandates that passengers carry proper documentation, like a death or cremation certificate.
  • Urn Specifications: The urn containing the ashes counts toward your carry-on allowance. Make sure the urn is x-ray friendly. If the container is made of a material like metal that prevents clear x-ray vision, it may not be allowed through security.
  • Carry-On Allowance: Must be within 45 linear inches (114 cm), with max dimensions of 22" x 14" x 9" (56 cm x 35 cm x 23 cm). There are no weight limitations from the UK.

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Extra Tips for Travelling with Ashes on Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines provides a thorough outline of their policies, but here are a few of our own recommendations to ensure your trip is as smooth as possible: Consult the Embassy: If you're flying internationally, speak to the embassy of the country you're travelling to. They'll provide you with any additional guidelines or restrictions. Opt for a Scatter Tube: To facilitate quicker security checks, we recommend using an urn that is both non-metallic and X-ray-friendly. We highly recommend scatter tubes, as their convenient shape allows for easy placement in most bags and they are generally made out of cardboard and are recyclable.


If you've found value in this guide, please think about sharing it with others who might also find it beneficial. If you've had the experience of traveling with ashes on Delta Air Lines, we would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment below, sharing your experience in detail. Your input is highly valuable to us. Our mission is to make the process of traveling with ashes less challenging for anyone flying with Delta Air Lines.
How heavy is My URN?
If you're flying with Delta Air Lines and need to bring ashes, it's critical to consider the combined weight of both the ashes and the urn. Ashes usually weigh between 1.8kg and 4kg, while urns vary from 1kg to 3kg. This means the total weight can range from as little as 2.8kg to as much as 7kg, with an average around 4.9kg. Alternatively, scatter tubes weigh only 0.35kg and may be a more convenient option.
What size is my URN?
As for the urn's dimensions, they are generally between 10 and 12 inches tall (25 to 30 cm) and have a diameter ranging from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm). For the most accurate measurements, it is advisable to either measure the urn yourself, consult the specifications where you purchased it, or reach out to the crematorium if that's where you obtained the urn or container.
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