As of December 26, 2013, all human cremains shipped through the mail must be shipped via priority mail express, and label 139 must be placed on the face of the package. This service cost $44.95.
Prior to that time, you could ship cremains via registered mail for an average cost of $23. And registered mail is shipped securely, always under lock and key, while priority mail express is not.
So why a nearly 100% price increase for shipping less securely? I asked my local post office, who had no answers. But I think the answer is obvious: It’s just another case of money taking priority over everything else, including service. Sad, indeed.
If you’re flying or driving to any destination to scatter ashes, we recommend you bring the ashes with you to avoid the exorbitant, excessive fee charged by the post office. Most airlines will allow you to carry the ashes on board or check them in with luggage. However, DHL, Fedex and UPS do not accept cremains at this time, so if you must ship the ashes you’re stuck with the post office.