STS Quarterly Issue 9: March 2020

U.S. Airlines Alter Policies Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A message from Dave McComb and the Eagle’s Wings Air Team

As policies around the world continue to shift, please be aware of the following alterations to air travel that may impact your ability to ship human remains and complete transfers.

Eagle’s Wings Air (EWA) is experiencing flights being cancelled without notice. In response, EWA is rebooking for the next available flight and keeping the Shipping Funeral Homes and Receiving Funeral Homes informed.

EWA is also experiencing extremely high phone hold times with the airlines, sometimes over 45 minutes.

Here is the latest information and updates EWA have gathered (subject to change):

American Airlines: No international or interline human remains cargo

Southwest Airlines: No international or interline human remains cargo, their call center is currently closed on the weekends

Delta Airlines: Limited international human remains cargo. No interline human remains cargo

United Airlines: Ceasing ALL human remains cargo after 3/24/20

Philippine Air: Currently no human remains cargo

Delta and Southwest WILL transport human remains that died of COVID-19. American will ONLY transport cremated bodies that died of COVID-19.

Specific airports have closed cargo stations temporarily due to staffing. Domestic flights for some airlines have been reduced by 40%, causing human remains cargo to experience longer than usual connection times.

In general it has become more difficult to ship human remains into other countries. Plan additional time and expect the possibility of changes. Communicate with your families that delays are likely, circumstances are subject to change and prepare them accordingly.