STS Quarterly Issue 2: June 2018

Common Mistakes in Air Transfer and How to Avoid Them (Part Two)

By Dave McComb and the Eagle’s Wings Air Team

After managing over 119,000 flights, we've seen a thing or two. Eagle’s Wings Air has managed air transportation of human remains for the last 10 years, working with funeral home professionals across the country for domestic and international ship outs. Here are more of the most common, easily-avoidable mistakes firms make:

Sending an infant or youth in an adult-sized shipping container

If your shipping container for a youth or infant case is oversized, you’re overpaying. Losing a child is already one of the most tragic things that could happen to a family, you don’t want to add to their troubles by having them pay too much for transport.

How much can a shipping container impact flight cost? The current average cost for an adult shipment (under 500 pounds) from Cleveland to Las Vegas is $687. Cost for a shipment at 70 pounds averages $270. Take careful measurement of weights and dimensions to ensure you make the right arrangements at the right price.

Having family members escort the deceased on an interline or international trip

Interlining, also known as interline ticketing and interline booking, is a voluntary agreement between airlines to handle passengers whose trips require multiple flights on multiple airlines. It allows passengers to change from one flight on one airline to a flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check in again.

While it’s tempting to tell the family they can travel with their loved one for the duration of a ship out, many people don’t realize that international and interline cargo shipments can have multi-legged flights and unexpected layover times. With so many variables in an itinerary like this, it leaves the opportunity for delays and errors to separate the family from the deceased.

It’s frustrating enough arriving at your destination and finding out your suitcase isn’t there. Imagine the family’s distress if they arrive without their loved one.

We would suggest that you not put your client family through the risk of additional anxiety and potential heartache if things don’t go perfectly. Be honest that changes or delays can happen and that it may not be realistic for them to escort their loved one. If they need to travel to the destination for services, encourage them to pick the most comfortable flights and routing to get to their international destination around the same day as their loved one is scheduled to arrive, but be clear that staying with their loved one continuously may not be possible.

Read part one of the most common air transfer mistakes.

Selected has partnered with Eagle’s Wings Air to help members provide each other and their families the very best in transfer services. When a family’s loved one needs transport on a flight originating in the United States, click here to book air transport with the experts at Eagle's Wings Air.

Need a funeral home you can trust to help you with embalming, cremation or ground transport? Click here to find one of the more than 270 Selected member firms who are STS Agents.

You are receiving this message because you are a designated Selected Transfer Services agent. To locate fellow STS firms for transfer assistance and for more helpful information, visit the Selected Transfer Services page.

Have a best practice or a helpful transfer story to share for a future issue of STS Quarterly? Email Dan Beavers or call 800-323-4219.