Our lives have turned global. People move out from their states and countries for various reasons, like education, work and recreation. However, when people are travelling and globe-trotting, they never think what will happen to their mortal remains in the event of death. The thought never occurs to most of us how our deceased loved one would be brought back home in case of death in a faraway land.
Flying a Deceased Person Home
It has never been an easy task to make funeral arrangements for a deceased loved one. It becomes even more challenging if the person’s dead body has to be transported across the state, country or continents. Every airline has unique rules and regulations, depending on different factors like transportation of the body in a casket or as cremated remains. It is same with the custom authorities, as well. You can take help from the funeral home to obtain the essential documents required to transport your loved one’s remains.
It goes without saying flying a dead person across international borders is more complicated that domestic transportation. Here are some of the rules that you would have to adhere to when flying the remains of a loved one.
Permission from the Embassy: Consult the concerned department of the country’s embassy. The embassy officials would help you with all legal procedures that have to be completed prior to transporting a deceased person’s body. The official will also help you get an affidavit from the Director of Foreign Funerals. This affidavit would illustrate the preparation and packing details of the body in the casket.
Contact the Airline: The next step is to contact the airline office for the transportation. Find out all the details, such as documentation, cargo fees, and ticketing. Don’t forget to ask about the loading and unloading of the casket. Remember, most airlines allow just sealed caskets.
Funeral Arrangements: Contact a funeral home in your home country. Ask them to make necessary arrangements for the funeral. Many funeral homes also provide transport arrangements to bring the casket from the airport to the funeral home. If for some reason, the casket is flying in unaccompanied, it will require a Bill of Lading from the airline company to clear the casket from the customs.
Handing Over Documents: It is not possible to do everything on your own. You will be too upset and traumatized. Hence, get a friend or professional cargo clearing company to hand over all the relevant documents to the concerned officials. These documents include the death certificate and ticket. You also can take help from a consular officer, an officer from the employing company of the deceased or an employee from the local funeral home.
However, if you are flying to get the deceased person’s body, you will be liable for all procedures related to documentation. You can take help from airline officials for documentation required for getting the casket through customs.
The various formalities involved to transfer the body of your deceased loved one within the country are not that tedious and overwhelming.
Documents: Get the death certificate from the concerned authority at the place of death. For transportation, you might be asked to furnish documentation stating the cause of death. It should not be a communicable disease. Another document required is an out-of-state disposition permit by the concerned authority.
Transit Release: The next step is to obtain a transit release from state or local officials. The concerned rules may vary from state to state.
Hire a Transporter: As the final step, contact a transporter. However, there are many national companies that provide services like embalming, ground transportation, flight arrangements. Funeral homes at some places also have authorized transporters. Speak to the air carrier and find about the essentials for transporting the dead person home. Ascertain the cost you would incur to fly the casket.
Funeral Home Arrangements: Finally, arrange for the local funeral home where you are taking the deceased person. Arrange for the casket to be picked and transported to the funeral home.
If you are not able to go yourself or have problems making all these arrangements, you can also hire a funeral shipping company. These companies make all the necessary arrangements, including documentation, transportation and making arrangements at local funeral home, and bring home your deceased loved one in the safest and most dignified manner.