Coffins are stored in the cargo area of a passenger or cargo plane and the deceased is required to be in a specialized container. A body can be transported using either a passenger plane or a cargo plane.
Passenger planes mostly carry people and have an allocated amount allowed for minimal luggage in the cargo area. Aircraft with passengers can only take a set amount of cargo, so it may take some time to to find a plane with enough space free for a casket. The advantage of transporting the coffin via a passenger plane is that the relative can travel with the body.
Cargo planes on the other hand have very limited seats but they have a huge empty galley that can be rearranged or manipulated to handle a wide range of cargo. Cargo planes have rollers and latches in the floor and walls designed to keep the cargo from moving around. The conditions within a cargo plane are somewhat similar all over, although they do have containers that can be heated if necessary. For medical purposes, they can be cooled to the appropriate temperature required.
You simply cannot make arrangements to send a dead body in-flight on your own. When organizing to move a deceased person you must work with a funeral director who will help you with the necessary arrangements and obtain the vital documents required for transporting the coffin by air. They will arrange for the purchase of an air tray from the flight provider which is a special container into which the coffin is encased.
A dead body is required to be transported in a secure coffin and then encased in the air-tray. Air-trays must be new and they cannot be reused.
Because of security requirements no personal items may be put inside the coffin with the remains. Any personal effects should be shipped separately. All international paperwork must be easily accessible for the Airline staff and any receiving staff. Paperwork must move with the remains in a document pouch on the outside of the container. It cannot be carried by family members who are escorting the coffin qaor placed inside the coffin.
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