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Check baggage or carryon

I will be flying into Heathrow from the USA and have a 1:50 minute layover before heading to Edinburgh. Is it faster to check my baggage or have carryon and will I have to go through customs or just immigration?

Posted by
18688 posts

Depending on your ticket, your luggage will be checked through to Edinburgh. You'll go through immigration (passport control) in London and customs (which will probably be just a walk-through, in Edinburgh). Checked vs carry-on won't really matter.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks. I'm a little worried about the short layover time and making my connection

Posted by
362 posts

The last time I went through Heathrow I found it very efficient. There's always a chance that checked luggage might not make the connection, but in this case I think it stands a reasonable chance of making it.

Posted by
823 posts

Whatever your carry-on status (personal item only or personal item and luggage), be mindful of the screening signs. You'll probably be changing terminals which means you'll be re-screening through security. The UK's screening process is much like ours so you need electronics and liquids out of your bags. They have very good signage with clear instructions. Probably the biggest difference is that they may require you to power-up all your electronics (although this has only ever happened to me once).

Posted by
5819 posts

Take care that your carry-on does not have items that would cause security agents to re-scan and hand search the bag. Things that look like bottles and strange electronics with batteries and wires that are not removed from the bag may trigger greater scrutiny of you carry-on slowing down the security process.

Posted by
238 posts

We made a similar trip in September 2015--US to Heathrow and on to Edinburgh, all flights on American Airlines, and at the risk of injecting a negative note, it took us much longer than 1:50 minutes to get through to our departure gate. We landed at 5:30 am, changed terminals and didn't even get to security until 8:00. The line to get through immigration was very, very long for anyone who was not from the UK (there were express lines for UK citizens) and there were not a lot of inspectors on duty. Security, on the other hand, was quite easy. Our bags were checked through to Edinburgh so we only had to go through with our personal items. Perhaps times have changed or it was just a bad day at Heathrow, but you might want to consider a back up plan.