Giants defensive tackle A.J. Francis is alleging agents from the Transportation Security Administration spilled a container of his cremated mother’s ashes during a baggage check at an unidentified airport.
Francis posted Monday to Twitter a picture he says shows his open luggage with what appears to be cremated remains spilled on his clothes. A standard “notice of baggage inspection” is included in the photo which was captioned with a profanity-laced criticism of TSA.
““Next time you . . . feel the need to go thru my mother’s ashes for no reason,” wrote Francis, 28, “make sure you close it back so her remains aren’t spilled on all my clothes.”
Francis, who grew up in Maryland, said in a separate Twitter post that he was in Arkansas with family “celebrating my mom’s life” and in California with friends after his mother unexpectedly died two weeks ago.
A representative from the verified @AskTSA customer service Twitter account replied to Francis with an apology and citing the organization’s policy. Cremated remains are allowed in both checked and carry-on bags, according to TSA.gov, where the policy reads, “We understand how painful losing a loved one is and we treat crematory remains with respect. Some airlines do not allow cremated remains in checked bags, so please check with your airline to learn more about possible restrictions.”
TSA further responded by suggesting that flyers should purchase a temporary or permanent crematory container made of a lighter weight material, such as wood or plastic. The agency said, ” If the container is made of a material that generates an opaque image, TSA officers will not be able to clearly determine what is inside the container and the container will not be allowed. Out of respect for the deceased, TSA officers will not open a container, even if requested by the passenger.”