Travelling with cremated remains (ashes) to India

#31 Sep 28th, 2009, 15:12
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#31
Human ashes have a sort of grey, gun-powdery look about them. In these days of hyper security-checks...
#32 Sep 28th, 2009, 18:01
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#32
I did it the other way round.

A friends husband died and as I was going to Patna was given 2 damp bags, kept under a bucket, one bag for the Ganga and one for our river here.

I stuck the bag for here in a sock, no problem.

Lateral thinking required
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#33 Sep 28th, 2009, 19:23
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#33
I know it's not to India but we did take my father's ashes on a plane just a couple of weeks ago, to Ireland.

When we expressed our intention to the undertaker he said he would need to prepare a letter for the airline, which he duly did, to state that the container had been sealed by his hand in the UK. The container, a plastic cylinder about 12 inches high, is supposed to have the screw-cap lid superglued shut for transportation, it wasn't.

We took the ashes as hand luggage and mentioned to the security staff at the airport what they were but no-one was bothered. I had advised the airline in advance as a matter of courtesy but they didn't want to know either.

We had all the paperwork but no-one asked to see any documentation.

As the remains never went further than the EU it may be different for international flights but this is my recent experience. Hope it helps.
#34 Sep 28th, 2009, 20:07
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Well friends,

In my life, I have experience with death, birth and other rituals, so for other members who might have not experienced these things, usually ashes means just a little ash and might be some bones from heart, brain, and some other parts of the body, all can be fitted into a small box and you can just pack this box tightly, as you can so that it doesnt get disturbed in plane while travelling , best is to put the ashes in cabbin luggage, as it it not going to be checked much. So if you somehow manage your baggage at Abroad, I can guarantee that in Indian Airports even if any Customs officer asks whats in the box, you can tell that it is Ashes and believe me they will let you go, because they are Indians and know that its sentiment issue, but in Abroad since the procedure might not be common, the Abroad customs officer might not be aware of the practices, and you just need to explain to them that it is just pure ash, you are taking
#35 Sep 29th, 2009, 00:17
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#35
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsg View Post Lateral thinking required
Poppycock!

Finding out the regulations and complying with them is what's required.
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#36 Sep 29th, 2009, 01:06
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Dearest Halyo.

Rules are meant to be circumvented, unless of course you are in to structure.or is it stricture

If I had adhered to the rules I would not have been able to give my dear friends husband a final dispersing of his ashes in both the Ganga at Patna, and our small river here.

Surely kindness and compassion comes before jobsworth rules and regulations, in which ever country you are dealing with.
#37 Sep 29th, 2009, 05:59
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#37
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Originally Posted by fsg View Post Rules are meant to be circumvented
fsg, may I ask you to keep your snippy remarks to yourself, and remind you that the OP asked about the rules, not how to circumvent them. Not that circumventing the rules is at all necessary or desirable, as there is no problem whatsoever for this to be done both openly and with respect.

I should also remind you that we are discussing the transportation of the remains of someone's dear departed mother here. Presumably, the OP does not wish to smuggle his mother's remains to India in a sock.
#38 Sep 30th, 2009, 07:08
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#38
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Originally Posted by wonderwomanusa View Post Years ago, 1989, I took a portion of a friend's ashes to India -- packed in an aspirin container, and in the bottom of my travel bag. Since my bags have never been checked upon entry to India, nobody ever asked what was in there.
this is sorta what i was thinking about, and referring to, but as Nick said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Human ashes have a sort of grey, gun-powdery look about them. In these days of hyper security-checks...
...it's true that post 911, as i mentioned, the TSA people are a bit wiggy.

sorry that this question has caused such an uproar
i'll be doing more formal research and seeing what the rules and regs are.
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#39 Oct 2nd, 2009, 01:45
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#39
This from the TSA website:

Transporting the Deceased
Traveling With Crematory Remains

We understand how painful losing a loved one is, and we respect anyone traveling with crematory remains. Passengers are allowed to carry a crematory container as part of their carry-on luggage, but the container must pass through the X-ray machine. If the container is made of a material that generates an opaque image and prevents the Transportation Security Officer from clearly being able to see what is inside, then the container cannot be allowed through the security checkpoint.

Out of respect to the deceased and their family and friends, under no circumstances will an officer open the container even if the passenger requests this be done. Documentation from the funeral home is not sufficient to carry a crematory container through security and onto a plane without screening.

You may transport the urn as checked baggage provided that it is successfully screened. We will screen the urn for explosive materials/devices using a variety of techniques; if cleared, it will be permitted as checked baggage only.

Some airlines do not allow cremated remains as checked baggage so please check with your air carrier before attempting to transport a crematory container in checked baggage.

Crematory containers are made from many different types of materials, all with varying thickness. At present, we cannot state for certain whether your particular crematory container can successfully pass through an X-ray machine. However, we suggest that you purchase a temporary or permanent crematory container made of a lighter weight material such as wood or plastic that can be successfully X-rayed. We will continue to work with funeral home associations to provide additional guidance in the future.
#40 Oct 2nd, 2009, 01:52
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#40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotus blossom View Post This from the TSA website:
Lotus Blossom, that is an excellent link. It gives a lot of information and outlines issues to consider in a sensitive way and I am sure it will help people who find this thread in the future.

However, if I am not mistaken, the TSA has jurisdiction only in the US; the OP is from London.
#41 Oct 2nd, 2009, 03:01
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#41
Quote:
if I am not mistaken
Yes... and no

The Original Poster was in London, but the thread is now moved on to Lotus Blossom's own query --- and I think she is posting from USA.
#42 Oct 2nd, 2009, 07:49
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#42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Yes... and no

The Original Poster was in London, but the thread is now moved on to Lotus Blossom's own query --- and I think she is posting from USA.
thanks nick - exactly right.
#43 Oct 2nd, 2009, 18:26
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#43
Ashes are only a grey powder if they are ground fine.

My brother died abroad and was cremated according to Buddhist tradition.

His remains were shipped back to UK in what I can only describe as a bell shaped container.

Sister in law said it was bits of bones, recognisable bits, and in order to scatter them she had to take them to the local crematorium to be pulverised.

I have in no way delved into the treatment of remains here in UK or US, but can only comment on what I have experienced.

To dispose of the remains of my friend in Patna, I first went to the burning ghat area, it was so sordid and dirty.

I saw one family take the body , in a white shroud, weighed down with stones and deposit in the river.

I am fascinated with other countries customs which are different from mine.

I find the S. Indian way of the fireworks, to send the soul on its heavenward way, the cleansing of the body with milk, curd, ghee, accompanied by the drumming , eldest son leading the bier to the ghat, who of course will lead the rites in lighting the pyre and the strewing of flowers in front of the body, next day the family go to the ghat to collect the ashes.


Its a men only affair
#44 Oct 3rd, 2009, 17:48
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#44
That is the South Indian Hindu way, and I've asked my wife to arrange it for me, but stipulating no crackers.

The produce of a Western (well, UK is my experience) crematorium is a gritty powder. Nothing recognisable. At least, we didn't notice anything recognisable of either of my parents.
#45 Feb 11th, 2011, 21:32
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#45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post That is the South Indian Hindu way, and I've asked my wife to arrange it for me, but stipulating no crackers.

The produce of a Western (well, UK is my experience) crematorium is a gritty powder. Nothing recognisable. At least, we didn't notice anything recognisable of either of my parents.
Yes, in the UK the crem put the 'ashes' through a grinder.

AndyD
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