In India, transferring a deceased person’s body by air can be a costly process. From the paperwork and logistics required to the transportation fees, this type of transfer comes with many associated costs. Read on to learn more about the cost of dead body transport by air in India.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Air Transport for a Dead Body
There are a number of factors that can determine how much it will cost to transport a dead body via air in India. These include the size and weight of the corpse, the distance to be travelled and the type of aeroplane being used for transfer. Additionally, the urgency of getting the body from one place to another, special preparation requirements (such as embalming or cooling), necessary paperwork and permits all play an important role in calculating the overall cost.
All airlines require the body to be embalmed or cooled before transport, and paperwork must be prepared in advance. Preparation of the body for transfer is done at a funeral home or morgue prior to flight. Charges for documentation, storage and transportation from the funeral home or morgue to a partner airport will vary based on distance as well as added services like hearses or carriages for transportation if needed. Once all costs are accounted for, including those related to customs declarations, the total transport cost by air can range anywhere between 30,000 – 50,000 INR depending on various factors mentioned above.
Documentation Required for Air Transferring a Deceased Person
Every state in India has certain protocols for transporting a deceased person by air. Generally, the paperwork required includes an attested death certificate, an autopsy report and a no-objection letter from local authorities such as police and civil registration offices. Depending on the size of the corpse and its condition, you might also need to submit additional documents such as coffin indentures, refrigeration certificates and insurance documents.
In India you are only allowed to transport a dead body by air with permission from the director of civil aviation and the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) in the concerned local municipality. Besides the attested death certificate and autopsy report, airline companies require an indemnity bond guaranteeing safe carriage and no-objection certificates from both police and civil registration offices. Depending on your travel route, the local authorities might also ask for letters of permission from passport indicating verification. Additionally you may need documents such as Coffin indenture form, refrigeration certificates, insurance papers if flying with a casket and full declaration form for embalming substances in case transporting embalmed bodies.
Preparing the Deceased for Air Travel to India
Preparations for air travel include the embalming process. This involves disinfecting and preserving the body. However, in some instances, this may not be possible due to lack of medical expertise or resources. In these cases, a medical professional must give permission for transport based on an inspection of the body. The cost of embalming varies depending on the geographical region, but typically ranges from ₹8,000 to ₹25,000 (approx. $109 – $345 USD).
When transporting a body by air, the casket must be equipped with a hermetically sealed top, handles and gaskets in order to pass regulations. The family must pay for additional costs such as cremation or shipping if they choose to have the body sent back home. In India, there is also a ₹6,000 (approx. $82 USD) fee for an “Air Despatch Report” which is mandatory for every body transported by airplane. Moreover, extra charges may be incurred when receiving the deceased at an airport outside of India. It is important to bear in mind that these are only approximate costs – depending on size and weight of casket and other factors, prices can vary significantly between airlines and other carriers.
Embalming and dressing are also necessary if one wishes to transport a deceased person home by air. The casket must be made of breathable materials such as wood or fibreglass so that the body does not come in contact with toxic fumes. Moreover, desiccants may be supplied to ensure the casket remains airtight during the flight. According to the Consulate General of India in Frankfurt, it is advised for family members to obtain information about prices and regulations from local mortuaries as early as possible so as to avoid any possible delays or additional costs.
Rules and Regulations for International Shipping of Bodies
Regulations regarding air relocation of bodies may differ between international and domestic transfers. It is important to ensure that the body transport meets both the national and international laws on transportation of dead bodies. Obtaining death certificates, proving identity, obtaining import and export permits or clearances are some of the rules that must be followed for an international transfer. Depending on the destination, additional documents may also be required.
International air travel involves many documents, so it is important to read the rules carefully and prepare in advance. When planning transport by air, some processes that must be followed include obtaining a death certificate from the local district or state health department, making sure that all biometric documents are available to prove identity, filing for an export permit to move the body out of the country and obtaining letters of disposal from various airports and governments. Depending on the destination country, additional documentation such as immigration clearances may also be required for international transportation of dead bodies.
Depending on the country of transport, additional costs may include securing a special release permit from the state or central government in India. Additionally, consignment charges for freight agents and airlines are often not included in transportation estimates. If storing the body for more than 24 hours is required, additional expenses such as temporary refrigeration may apply. All carry-on luggage associated with transporting a dead body must be declared to avoid any obstruction at check-in counters.