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Flying into/out of the UK

I will be flying to Berlin via London/Heathrow this summer and I'm wondering about how the restrictions as far as carryons work. Do I need to check all of my bags even when leaving from the US (or Germany on the way back)? Is it possible to check the bags during the layover at Heathrow? thanks in advance

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Andrew, are you flying with the same airline a connecting flight through London or have you booked a separate flight on to Germany? If you are on the same airline you will be booked through to your final destination. If you have carry-ons leaving Seattle you may be asked to check them at Heathrow, but if you don't leave security you probably won't be asked except possibly at the gate and they should gate check the bags there. Again, lots of "if"s in this summary. Your situation may be different.