This idea comes from this BBC article. They point out that all crates are screened these days, but I'm wondering if perhaps an airline wouldn't mind if you did it. Presumably it wouldn't be an international one....but if there's anywhere that DOES allow this, either to travel in the cargo hold, or to be 'mailed', I'd accept the answer.

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    This looks like human trafficking. – mouviciel Mar 6 '15 at 8:16
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    Did you read the BBC today ? BBC documented an Australian shipped who himself from London to Perth. It was illegal then, and I don't think it will be legal now. – DumbCoder Mar 6 '15 at 14:14
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    @DumbCoder you mean the article I linked to in the first line? ;) – Mark Mayo Mar 7 '15 at 1:31
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    This is tagged air-travel, but what about ground shipping? – Raystafarian Apr 12 '15 at 10:37
  • @Raystafarian you'd need the food and water then too, but I'd accept that – Mark Mayo Apr 12 '15 at 12:50

Legal Aspects

Although it has successfully been done in the past (see this webpage, or the Wikipedia article on human mail), it would seem that mailing humans is not allowed in this day and age. Whether it is indeed legal is something I couldn't understand using simply Google (the Wikipedia article does mention it being illegal but references are missing). The only legal mention I could find comes from this February 2015 Newsletter of the Central Florida Stamp Club on mailing children stating:

It wasn’t until early in 1920 when Congress finally got into the act. They passed a law that took effect in June of 1920 that made it a Federal crime to mail humans, regardless of weight.

Do Shipping Companies Allow This?

The FedEx terms and conditions mention human body parts in their list of prohibited items, without specifying if dead or alive (granted these are US T&C but the same applies to other FedEx serviced countries, such as the UK):

Prohibited Items

You are prohibited from tendering the following items for shipment except for antique furniture described in NMFC Items 100240 or 100260, or pictures or paintings described in Items 100240, 100260 or 149420, the following property will not be accepted for shipment nor as premiums accompanying other articles: [...]

  1. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains

Couple this with their right to inspect packages whose content description is believed to be incorrect, and you can easily imagine that it might be very hard to get a boxed human through these controls. Furthermore it is safe to assume that similar multinational shipping companies behave the same.

Health and Safety

On a final note one also has to consider the risks involved in packing humans in the cargo section of a plane. The low temperatures alone would render it a near-death experience. If you want to travel for several hours sitting still crammed up in a box in an ambient temperature of 7°C you should prepare for it in advance.


Mailing a person from one country to another country will in most cases violate immigration laws, possibly both in the origin as well as in the destination country.

With the exception of areas and regions without immigration control between countries (e.g. the Common Travel Area or the Schengen Area), it is usually only allowed to leave and enter a country at designated ports of entry, e.g. land border crossings, ferry terminals or airports. Even if international shipments and mail is usually handled at cargo terminals with customs offices, these terminals are not to considered ports of entry for persons and usually not equipped for immigration control on persons.


It is not possible today to stowaway in a crate internationally! I know this because in 1965 I actually did it! I traveled from Melbourne Australia to LA USA - although I was bound for London. I spent about 4.5 days in that crate and wouldn't recommend it! Just after my experience all international bound crates were sprayed with sneezing powder to try and detect people inside, today they are all put through X-ray machines.

If you want to read more Google for aircraft crate stowaway attempts; there's a link to a BBC report there.

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