AEROPLANES carry millions of travellers around the world every year, but they also ferry thousands of dead passengers too.
Some customers might feel a little strange if they knew that there was a dead body sitting in the hold beneath them though.
This is why airlines have a nickname for dead bodies, so that they can fly undetected — they’re called “Jim Wilson.”
According to Sara Marsden, the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online, American Airlines even have a dedicated help desk for funeral homes that they call the American Airlines Jim Wilson Service.
The nickname allows transport services or undertakers to call about a dead body without anyone overhearing. The name comes from the crates that are used to transport the bodies.
The name Jim Wilson comes from the crates that are used to transport the bodies.
The name Jim Wilson comes from the crates that are used to transport the bodies.Source:istock
The Alcor 1997 Stabilization and Transport Manual explains that Jim Wilson Trays often used as the shipping container and are packed with ice to preserve the human remains.
Other airlines simply call the dead bodies HR, an abbreviation for human remains.
Around 50,000 dead bodies are transported by aeroplane every year as people often die away from home and need to be transported back to the family for the funeral service.
Every dead body transported by plane needs to travel in a secured casket and then encased in an airtray, as well as being accompanied by a burial transit permit or a health officer’s certificate.
Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol also has its own mortuary, which processes around 2,000 bodies a year.