Some recent letters to Dear Abby convey interesting advice about body shipment by air travel and dispels the notion of using dental gold a way to pay for a funeral.
DEAR ABBY: I am 75, and when I pass on I would like the undertaker to remove my six gold caps from my teeth. Then my wife can sell them to pay for my funeral. I think this will work out well. What is your take on this? — ED IN FLORIDA
DEAR ED: As I started researching “dental gold,” I realized that while there are companies that buy it, the price your wife would get will depend upon the weight of the gold — most of which is 16-karat — and the current market value of the metal.
Because of the nosedive that gold has experienced lately, I’m advising you to start saving up for your funeral now and to live long and prosper. My experts have informed me that most funeral homes are unwilling to remove fillings, caps, etc.
(I know a man who had this idea too. Unless you’re willing to have the gold removed while you’re still alive, and refined down into something of value, this is not something that the funeral director will do.)
DEAR ABBY: My mother is in her mid-90s and in good health. She has no intention of dying soon, but asked me an interesting question. She has mileage points with a major airline and was wondering if she can use them for the “final trip” back to her home state for burial when the time comes. Do you know the answer? — ONE-WAY TICKET
DEAR ONE-WAY: Your question is not only an interesting one, but it’s a first. I contacted a spokesperson for a major airline who responded that his company does not accept mileage points as a form of payment for any type of “shipment.” For her last flight, your mother would no longer be considered a passenger; she would be cargo, which is why her points idea won’t fly.
DEAR ABBY: Your response to “One-Way Ticket’s” (5/1) question about his mother’s final trip home got me thinking, and I found a loophole they may be able to use. If their mother’s air miles can be used by someone else (like her grown kids), she would go as cargo, but her miles would pay for her escort to take her home.
If there are any miles left over after that, they could be donated to various causes, like the Shriners, who sometimes need to get a child flown to another part of the country for treatment. Or the military may have a stranded soldier waiting to go home for the holidays, etc. My oldest flies using my mom’s air miles, and I flew my youngest with mine, so if the mother of “One-Way” would like to put her miles to use, this could be helpful. — FORMER FREQUENT FLIER
DEAR FORMER FREQUENT FLIER: What great ideas! I love the suggestions my readers come up with, and yours are good ones.