the deceased across Canada, and even repatriating remains from outside
Canada, is a growing concern in the funeral industry. As more and
more people move around the provinces, or indeed retire or relocate outside
of Canada; so funeral homes and families are faced with the issue of bringing
their lost loved one back home.
have a growing older population, and an increasing ‘Baby Boomer’ generation,
many of which choose to ‘snow-bird’ winters outside of Canada. These
factors alone mean that there is a rise in the need for the long-haul transportation
of human remains within Canada and North America.
what happens if you are faced with the death of a family member and need
to return their body, or ashes, back home to family in order to conduct
a funeral? Human remains can be transported by air cargo by most
of the major airlines in Canada.
are regulations that govern the movement of human remains, and the airlines
will advise you in relation to your specific circumstances. Regulations
can vary dependent upon transportation between provinces, or dependent
upon from which country outside of Canada you are seeking to transport
remains from. You may find that the funeral home handling the funeral
service will arrange air transportation on your behalf if this is required.
In some cases funeral homes will have a ‘preferred’ airline that they will
use. However, if you are arranging many aspects of the funeral yourself,
be it that you wish to, or managing costs dictate so, then you will find
quite helpful information available on most of the major airline cargo
– Non-Cremated Remains, or Cremated Remains Transportation
major airline companies usually employ a specialized team to deal with
this very sensitive cargo. For example, Air Canada operates a special
cargo service called ‘Compassion’ that handles the transportation of either
non-cremated, or cremated, remains. As with other airlines, their
regulations vary dependent upon domestic or international shipments.
Remains normally need to be transported in a casket that is contained within
an airtray. The airline will ordinarily provide an airtray, although
they may charge for this.
is difficult to provide a definitive pricing guide for the transportation
of remains, as it varies so much by airline, schedule, distance, weight
and other pertaining factors. However, as a rough guide you will
find the rates for shipping non-cremated human remains within Canada can
start from as little as $60 but reach up to $100’s. Most airlines offer
a basic fee classified by domestic zones and stratified by weight.
The freight charge may also be subject to additional surcharges.
alternative to shipping the deceased’s body is to ship cremated remains.
This can greatly save on costs. A direct cremation can be performed
at the place of death, another cost-saving measure, and then an urn with
the cremains shipped back to the family for a funeral service to be performed
with family. As mentioned the costs for shipping cremated remains
can be cheaper than shipping the deceased’s body.
shipments must meet airline Goods Acceptance Process (GAP) and cut-off
times for the shipment of human remains are generally between 2 - 4 hours
prior to departure. A shipment will usually be cleared for collection
2+ hours after arrival. You, or your funeral home, will need to make
the necessary delivery and collection arrangements.
of the major airlines offer special discounts for people needing to travel
due to a recent bereavement. You would need to check specifically
with the airline of your choice as to what criteria qualify for discounted
bereavement travel. Travellers eligible for Air Canada's Bereave
Fares are the deceased's: spouse (includes common law as well as same sex
partners), child (includes adopted / step / grand / great grand), parent
(includes step / grand / great grand / in-law / common law in-law), daughter,
son, father, mother (includes legal / in-law / common law in-law), brother,
sister (includes step / half / in-law / common law in-law), aunt, uncle,
niece, nephew (includes those of spouse and common law spouse), legal guardian
(with proof of judgement) and spouse of legal guardian. All above include
in-laws of same sex partner.
& Labrador, Northwest
Edward Island, Quèbec,
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