A woman flying from Greece to Armenia via Germany and Ukraine was stopped at Munich Airport when airport officials discovered a wooden box in her luggage, that turned out to contain the skeleton of her dead husband.
The 74-year old Armenian woman was traveling with her 52-year old daughter. Their itinerary took them from Athens to Munich, from where they were to continue to Kiyv and then to Yerevan. Before airport officials at Munich Airport discovered the human remains and alerted customs. They also brought in a doctor and public prosecutor to assist in the investigation.
In interrogations with the police, assisted by an officer with Greek roots, the woman disclosed that she wanted to repatriate the bones of her deceased husband to his native Armenia. The man passed away in 2008 and was buried close to the couple’s home in Thessaloniki in Northern Greece up until now.
The woman produced documents supporting her claims, and the transfer turned out to be lawful. As such, she and her daughter, along with the bones of her husband in their box, were allowed to continue on their journey.
While the German border police do not know which carrier the ladies were traveling with, they did confirm to Simple Flying that they missed their initial connection as a result of the investigation.
The regulations for countries vary slightly as the transport of human remains is concerned. However, to transport remains across borders that have signed the Strasbourg convention, one needs to produce a laissez-passer – body passport.
When it comes to the ashes of people who have been cremated, the rules also differ slightly from airline to airline. Most carriers will allow you to take the ashes of your loved one or pet with you on board in your hand luggage. However, you do need to be able to produce both a death certificate and a certificate of cremation.
In some instances, airlines will require you to be able to prove your relationship to the deceased. It is also good to remember that they will be x-rayed, and need to be transported in a non-metal container.
Culled from simpleflying