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Flying thru Heathrow
Brian Jorg, Photographer
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 05.26.07
->> I will be going thru Heathrow on my way to Kenya early next month, and wanted to know if anyone has had problems with the 1 carry-on restriction in the UK? I have seen the size requirements, but can't seem to find the official weight restriction, if it exists.Anyone out there flown thru the UK lately?
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Andrew Wheeler, Photographer
Capitola | CA | USA | Posted: 7:48 PM on 05.26.07
->> Brian,

From past experiences flying through Heathrow, I do know that they will weigh your carry on and the weight allowance is low, something like 7kg, roughly 15lb if you have to go through customs and then re checkin.

I had my Lightware weighed (and as much as I could do to not draw attention to it) it was weighed and had to be checked. Virgin were nice enough to find some bubble wrap, tag it fragile and they said that it would be walked through vs placed on the conveyer belt..

It arrived safely at SFO however, I had resigned myself to calling the insurance company before I saw it appear at baggage claim...

One oddity I have found though, is if you wear your gear. Thus, wear your cameras with the heaviest lenses, place stuff into pockets if possible and then reload the bag on the other side. Weird, but that worked in Italy and Australia coming home last year.

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Jack Gruber, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 12:05 AM on 05.27.07
->> If you are changing planes at Heathrow in terminal 4, expect long lines and you will be limited to one carry-on. Officials will walk the lines and see if you are carrying two carry-ons. If so, they will tell you to combine them into one or you will need to check one of the bags. If you are carrying a camera bag and a backpack, you will be asked to combine everything into one carry-on. The backpack I use to fit camera, computer and sat phone stuff into is a Kelty Redwing 3100 cubic inch backpack and it fits nicely overhead on everything except regional jets. Weight has never been an issue flying on British Airways. Virgin Air is more strict and routinely weighs carry-ons when checking in. If you make it past check-on on Virgin without weighing, you are usually in pretty good shape.

The lines are long to get through security to transfer flights. I waited in a line in terminal 4 last week for over one hour. You don't have a great deal of time to look for a customer service desk in order to plead your case concerning photo equipment and an extra carry-on bag if you are connecting on another flight.

Weight hasn't been an issue for me at all. I carry one backpack with computer gear and my Domke loaded with gear dropped into that backpack. Total weight around 45 pounds and has never been an issue so far (unless you are flying Virgin which follows their low carry-on weight allowance very closely). British Airways hasn't made an issue of the weight at all.

If you are going from Terminal 4 to any other terminal, like Terminal 1 for a BA flight to the US and the flight to SFO, same issues but longer time to the gate due to taking the buses.

Biggest piece of advice, be able to pack your carry-on into one case or bag and you will be good to go. And if you are carrying any liquids, be aware of the limits and using the plastic bag to keep the items in one place for x-ray. I just do without and keep the liquids out of the equation all together.

Hope that makes sense.

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Gavin Werbeloff, Student/Intern, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 6:17 PM on 05.29.07
->> If you are not switching terminals at Heathrow, you will not have to go through security again. What airline are you flying? If its BA, thier Nairobi flights run out of terminal 4, as well as JFK and O'Hare flights, so you might be in luck.
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Richard Wolowicz, Photographer
Brossard | QC | Canada | Posted: 9:19 PM on 05.29.07
->> Make sure to leave to leave enough time between connecting flights (I guessed connecting because your title said "thru" and not "into") ... I've had transfers from Term 4 to Term 3 take more than an hour and a half with security checkpoints and that didn't include checking in (even longer if changing airlines).

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Daniel Bersak, Photographer
Boston | MA | USA | Posted: 10:24 PM on 05.29.07
->> Brian-

I can confirm what Andrew wrote. If you have to change terminals and you're short on space in your bag, try wearing your cameras on your shoulders. They didn't bother me when I flew through a few weeks ago.

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Jack Gruber, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 10:36 PM on 05.29.07
->> Gavin,

I don't know if you are referring to the initial check-in security screening at London Heathrow but all transferring passengers arriving and departing Heathrow from terminal 4 as well as the other terminals will go through a mag and bag security type screening after arriving and before being allowed to their departure gate.

At least that has been my experience. Haven't flown the Africa route but don't think it is any different.

And yes, in a pinch, wearing the camera gear has worked for me also when over the limit on carry-on weight allowance.

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Gavin Werbeloff, Student/Intern, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 12:00 AM on 05.30.07
->> Jack, on previous trips, I've connected in London and both inbound and outbound flights were from Terminal 1. I didn't have to clear security again, as I never left the secure zone. I'm not sure if its the same for Terminal 4 or not. On other occasions I've had to change terminals and have been rescreened, but never flying in and out of the same one.
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Thread Title: Flying thru Heathrow
Thread Started By: Brian Jorg
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