Most people would like their funeral to be held near the place they call home after they die. When someone dies abroad, bringing them back home for the service can be hugely important to their family and friends. But with funerals already costing around £4,000 in the UK, the expense of bringing a loved one’s body home from abroad can be pretty intimidating.

If you’re worried about the cost of repatriation for someone’s body, we’re here to help. Here you’ll find an idea of what you can expect to pay based on where the person died, and what the fee is likely to cover.


How much does repatriation cost?

Flying someone’s body home costs between about £1,800 and as much as £17,000. The fee depends on where they’re travelling to and from, and who the repatriation provider is. The average claim for repatriation from travel companies is about £3,500.

Unlike booking a flight abroad, repatriation costs aren’t just about the distance being covered: they also reflect logistics. Every country has its own rules around repatriation, and some of them have more red tape to wade through than others. You can get an idea of what might be involved in our guide on how to repatriate someone’s body to the UK here.

Need advice about repatriation? You can find out more about Beyond’s international repatriation service by calling (+44)800 054 9794 or clicking here – we’d be happy to help.


What is included in standard repatriation costs?

Repatriating a body takes more than just booking a flight. The cost to fly someone’s body home for a burial or cremation also takes account of caring for their body, meeting the special requirements for transporting a coffin and taking care of all the paperwork on both sides.

Here’s what the fee for your repatriation service is likely to cover:

  • Collection and care of the person who has died ahead of the flight
  • Embalming – this isn’t usually mandatory but is required for all bodies travelling by aeroplane
  • A zinc-lined coffin, which is needed for transporting someone’s body abroad
  • The flight
  • Liaising with funeral directors in both countries
  • Paperwork, and translation of official records

You may pay an additional fee for other services, like:

  • Arranging a memorial service ahead of the flight
  • Cremation of the person who has died ahead of the flight
  • Visiting your loved one at the funeral home ahead of the flight

Not all repatriation providers charge the same amount for each part of the service. We recommend asking for a few quotes before going ahead, as this will help you find something that works for your budget.


How can I manage the cost of repatriating someone’s body?

If the person who died took out travel insurance before they left, or you were travelling on a cruise or with a tour group, all or most of the repatriation costs are likely to be covered by the company policy. It’s a good idea to contact them to find out if this is the case before you make arrangements.

You may find it more affordable to organise for your loved one to be cremated before you leave. The price of a professional courier for ashes will range from about £265-295 for Europe to £650 for Australia and New Zealand. Importing ashes to the UK is more expensive than sending them from here, because your provider will need to liaise with the funeral director in the other country. But at £850 for the USA, Canada and South Africa, it’s still cheaper than the cost of repatriating a body without cremation.

If you’re planning to travel for the funeral yourself, you might find it easier and less expensive to bring the ashes in your cabin baggage in a suitable airtight container. There’s more information about taking ashes on a plane here.

A direct cremation without a ceremony in the UK can cost as little as £1,195 with Beyond. To make arrangements or just find out more, call us on 0800 054 9899.


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