Effective Wednesday, March 25, we are implementing the following guidelines:
- Human Remains, including Human Cremains, will be only be accepted for travel in the United States (both origin and destination must be within United States including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands)
- Human Remains, including Human Cremains, will only be booked for travel on American Airlines or American Airlines regional partner flights. No interline shipments will be accepted
View our COVID-19 updates page »
A journey of compassion.
Suffering the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult and trying times in life. You can rest assured that we are serious about the care and sensitivity of transporting departed loved ones to their final resting place.
Our TLC specialists are available 24/7 to work directly with funeral homes and mortuaries, and to assist with the advance arrangements required to ship your loved ones.
Our specialists will assist with worldwide shipping needs including:
- Caring oversight and expert knowledge from our TLC specialist team
- ExpediteFSSM service offering premium boarding priority and a 100% guarantee
- Daily scheduled service in the U.S. and around the globe
- Premium handling process to ensure priority
- Online tracking and shipment status notification
- Interline specialists to assist with connections throughout the world
Call 800-228-7878 (or 1-817-355-6712 if international) or email us any time to start making arrangements.
When shipping uncremated remains, please provide a physician's or health officer's certificate or a burial transit permit. It is required by local, state, government and international regulations. Shipping cadavers for research purposes does not require a burial transit permit. Please contact the state or country officials both at the origin and destination for full details on all regulations and document requirements.
Minimum packaging requirements for uncremated remains
Please secure the remains in a casket (or hermetically sealed casket as required) or alternative container (approved metal container or combination unit) in order to prevent shifting and the escape of strong odors. Caskets and alternative containers must be enclosed in an outer container (airtray) made of wood, particle board, corrugated fiberboard, plastic, or other water repellent material, and must have at least six handles and sufficient rigidity and padding to protect the inner container and contents from damage by ordinary care and handling. Please use new airtrays; used airtrays are not permitted. With certain types of combination units or cremation containers, airtrays may not be required. Containers should be clearly labeled with the following information: Air Waybill number, name of the deceased and the destination.
Dry ice is not necessary to pack unembalmed remains. When using dry ice, remember that it will be subject to dangerous goods shipping regulations. Please secure unembalmed remains in a casket or combo unit or metal container in order to prevent shifting and the escape of strong odors. Please contact the state or country officials both at the origin and destination for full details on all regulations and document requirements.
When transporting cremated remains, please keep in mind that the acceptance guidelines are slightly different compared to that of uncremated remains. Unless the remains are destined for a burial service, you will not need a burial transit permit. Please contact the state or country officials both at the origin and destination for full details on all regulations and document requirements.
Minimum packaging requirements for cremated remains
- Cremated remains must be contained in a five-millimeter polyurethane bag within cardboard outer packaging.
- A metal container or urn is the preferred method of inner packaging.
- Minimum size requirements (12" x 12" x 12") apply.
- Cremation containers are not acceptable for the transportation of human remains.
- Outer containers should be labeled with the following information:
- Air Waybill number
- Name of the deceased
Due to security requirements, no personal items may travel inside of the casket with the remains. All personal effects must be shipped separately. Please ensure the casket is checked before sealing and delivering.
Airtrays and combinations units must be new. For your convenience, we sell paperboard and adult-sized airtrays (87" x 32" x 23") which meet the requirements for an outside shipping container. Please note that reusing airtrays is not allowed. We do not offer infant airtrays for sale. The cost of an adult-sized airtray is $90 USD.
Airtrays are available for purchase through TLC. Our specialists will verify availability at your originating city and assist with the purchase at the time of your booking.
- Caskets and outer containers (airtrays or wooden boxes depending on the country) are required for all international shipments of human remains. Please ensure you are providing the correct container based on your country of destination.
- All international paperwork must be easily accessible by American Airlines and the receiving party. Paperwork must move with the remains in a document pouch on the outside of the container and cannot travel with the family escorting the remains nor be attached to the inside or outside of the casket.
- For uncremated remains, please secure the remains in a hermetically sealed casket or an approved metal container. Combination units are not accepted to international destinations (with the exception of Canada).
After hours release
Our TLC Specialist Desk will verify the destination airport is open to release your shipment. If closed, we will attempt to arrange an after hours release. Normally, the shipment has to be prepaid to facilitate an after hours release.