Jim Wilson: Airline Code For a Dead Body On a Plane

If you hear your flight attendant talk about “Jim Wilson,” you don’t need to worry that he’s going to take the last beef meal. That’s because the name is used as code for human remains being shipped in the plane’s cargo hold. Around 50,000 bodies are transported by passenger planes each year. It’s mostly done to transport them for funeral services. The code word allows flight attendants to communicate about the bodies without making passengers uncomfortable. The name comes from the crates that are used to transport the bodies. The Alcor 1997 Stabilization and Transport Manual explains that Jim Wilson Trays are often used as the shipping containers and are packed with ice to preserve human remains. There are some airlines that simply call the dead bodies HR, an abbreviation for human remains.