Transporting Human Remains

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Transporting human remains is a duty that demands respect, sensitivity and careful attention to detail. Through our Alaska SkyCare™ program, Alaska Air Cargo works with funeral homes to ensure the safe, swift and respectful transport of human remains to 80 destinations across North America, including 20 destinations in Alaska.

We offer:
  • Streamlined tracking and notification
  • Airport-to-airport service
  • Highest priority booking and special handling
  • Fallen Soldier Program

Due to their special handling needs, Alaska SkyCare™ shipments require advance booking. For additional assistance, please contact us at 1-800-225-2752 and ask to speak with an Alaska SkyCare™ representative. Alaska SkyCare™ rates can be downloaded here or on our Cargo Pricing page.

Shipping Information

Human remains
Human remains must be accompanied by a death certificate signed by a physician or health care officer or a burial removal permit and/or transit permit as required by law. Please contact the state or country officials at your origin and destination for full details on all regulations and document requirements. Note that Alaska SkyCare™ shipments are not accepted from Canada or Mexico locations.

Minimum Packaging Requirements
  • Human Remains must be adequately secured in a tightly closed, leak proof container to prevent shifting and the escape of offensive odors and fluids.
  • The container must be enclosed in an outside shipping container of wood, metal, canvas, plastic, or paperboard construction with sufficient rigidity and padding to protect the container from damage.
  • The container must have at least six handles if in excess of 400 pounds.
  • The container must not exceed the Cargo Size Limitations of the aircraft used for shipment.

Cremated remains
Cremated remains traveling as cargo are subject to the same minimum packaging requirements above.
Travelers on Alaska Airlines passenger flights may bring cremated human remains on board as carry-on or checked baggage.
To learn more about the applicable security screening requirements, please visit the TSA website.

Fallen Soldier Program
In addition to the respect we give to all SkyCare™ handling, Alaska Air Cargo's Fallen Soldier program ensures that proper protocols are followed when we have the honor of transporting a service member who has made the ultimate sacrifice, including special arrangements for military escorts. In Seattle, fallen soldiers are transported in a special baggage cart that is refurbished with carpet and has a retractable American flag curtain with plaques representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Individual shippers
Transporting human remains requires advance arrangement, and the rules governing this sensitive cargo are complex. Customers should work with a funeral home, which can coordinate directly with Alaska Air Cargo to arrange for shipment and ground transfer.