Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 12.10.2022

TSA Approved Urns: Everything You Need to Know

TSA Approved Urns

Reviewed By: Joshua Siegel

Cross Checked By: Elizabeth Siegel

4 min read

There could be a plethora of reasons that you might need to travel onboard a flight with the remains of your loved one. Perhaps their place of death was away from their home and you are bringing them back, or you might be taking their remains to their relatives who live elsewhere. Either way, it is important to know that there are certain regulations that have to be followed when carrying ashes on a flight such as using a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved urn.

What Are TSA Approved Urns?

TSA (Transportation Security Administration) approved urns are specifically designed to meet the regulations and guidelines set by airport security. These travel urn for ashes are constructed to ensure the safe transport of cremated remains without causing any disruption during the security screening process.

TSA Urn Requirements

When it comes to the question of what types of urns will pass the TSA screening, there is no fixed guide regarding the material or dimensions of the urn. Rather, the point of importance is that the traveling urn will have to pass through the X-ray screening process without any issues, and for this to happen successfully, the urn should be the kind that the machine can see through.

Many urns can fulfill this purpose for you, ranging from see-through temporary plastic urns to wooden urns. In general, biodegradable urns made of plant material such as bamboo or wood will pass through the screening process safely.

Checked-in Baggage

Placing the travel urn directly into your checked-in baggage would probably be the easiest and most hassle-free way to get through the security check without having your urn opened or disturbed. However, people hesitate to keep the traveling urn in their checked-in baggage because of a fear of the urn being jostled around and consequently spilling the ashes.

In this situation, you will have to weigh the benefits and costs of this approach to decide if you would rather take the risk of having it be disturbed in the baggage a little or if you are willing to deal with any hindrances during the x-ray process. However, there are a few airlines that do not allow cremated remains in checked baggage, so do the due diligence before placing the urn in your suitcase.

Carry On Baggage

While placing the urn with the ashes in your carry-on baggage might protect it better from turbulence and other disturbances, it does place a higher risk on the likelihood of your urn passing through the security check. If your urn shows up as opaque on the x-ray machine, the TSA officials will not be able to determine what is inside it.

The TSA’s official website clearly states that TSA officials will not be able to open the urn and search it out of respect for the deceased person. Therefore if there is any doubt about what is inside your traveling urn at the x-ray screening part of the security protocol, the TSA officials will most likely not allow you to carry it forward.

Types Of Urn To Travel With

To be on the safe side and make sure you can take your urn in your carry-on baggage without having any issues, you should opt for the types of the urn, which are see-through. A plastic urn is one of the safest bets to use as a traveling urn. Many people opt for a temporary plastic urn to carry ashes on a flight and then later transfer the remains to a permanent urn of their choosing.

Alternatively, wooden urns, especially biodegradable ones, often pass through the x-ray screener at airport security with no issues. The TSA’s official website also recommends the use of either plastic or wooden urns to prevent any hassle during the security check when traveling by flight.

Buying An Urn Online

Now you know that you will likely have to purchase a temporary urn made of plastic or other biodegradable materials while traveling with ashes. However, if you do not feel satisfied with the temporary urn as a permanent resting place for the ashes of your loved one, you might be wondering about the additional cost that comes with having to buy a better urn separately.

The good news is that we have premium quality urns made out of aluminum available on our website at Titan Casket. Our urns come with a screw-top lid as well as a velvet bag for storage and to protect the exterior of the urn, all at the price of just $79. You can browse images of our Cremation Urn in five different color schemes on our website and place your order for an urn online in minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Are TSA approved urns mandatory for traveling with cremated remains?

Answer: While not mandatory, TSA approved urns streamline the security process when traveling with ashes.

  • Are there size restrictions for TSA approved urns?

Answer: TSA guidelines suggest that urns should be able to fit in the X-ray machine for screening, so size can be a factor.