We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
113 posts
45 reviews
Save Topic
Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

Hi

I'm arriving at Heathrow T3 from Singapore, then going onwards on a UK domestic flight from T5.

As its a domestic flight, can I bring my duty free from Singapore (in sealed bag etc) on to that BA domestic flight in my hand luggage? I didn't think it would be any problem until I saw a post somewhere on trip advisor saying I couldn't as its still a transit flight. My checked baggage will be going all the way through from Australia, so no chance to put it in there.

Or (and I didn't think this would be the best option but others may know better) could I get the duty free on arrival at Heathrow to carry on? I haven't transited through Heathrow before, it's always been Europe where I know I can't carry it through from Asia to the UK.

Thanks in advance

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
704 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

It seems you can:

heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/h…

Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
2,627 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

You don't go through "duty free on arrival" (which isn't duty free anyway: there are a few promotional deals, but the prices are usually no better than a High St supermarket) if you're in direct airside transit, even to a domestic flight. Going landside to use the facility adds significantly to the time involved in a T3-T5 connection.

But I THINK you can use the departure dutyfree shops at T5 on domestic flights, but just have to pay the higher of the two prices shown (as if you were going to Paris or Rome). Though the duty free rules don't apply, the volume of intra-EU passengers going through T5 is so great it's worth the operator's while to offer some aggressive discounts, especially on spirits, which will often be lower than High St prices. The range in some areas is more interesting than you'll find in some parts of the country

Note that the special exemption for duty free from Singapore ISN'T for buying it at Singapore: it's for the duty free being in the special tamper-proof bag. And though the Heathrow website doesn't spell it out, for the bag clearly not having been tampered with and the seal remaining intact. The onus is on you to make sure the Singapore checkout operator uses the right bag and seals it.

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

Given the small amount you will likely save, and the hassle of babysitting it the whole way, and the real possibility it will be confiscated at security, is it actually worth the trouble of buying in Singapore? Either buy at Heathrow or at your destination.

united kingdom
Level Contributor
39 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

This depends on what you buy.. i.e liquids or not?? The rules for T3 are here www.dutyfreeonarrival.com/en/travelpoint/2965 As stated, duty free on arrival does not exist for intra-EU travellers or for arriving passengers at Heathrow. You will have a problem unless Singapore has a bilateral agreement with the Uk for the transit of sealed STEB bags. Any goods you buy in "duty free shops" for your onward journey within the EU or The UK will be tax paid goods.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
113 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to my question. Just thought I'd let you know how I went.

After reading the link to the Heathrow website (thanks Dinomamdy) I decided to get the duty free in Singapore. The Duty Free shop staff sealed it all up and it fitted in to the hand luggage, so no hassle carrying it. We went through all the immigration/customs at Heathrow and security just asked where it was purchased and there was no issue. 1 litre of Johnnie Walker Double Black 24 pounds and 1 litre of 10 yr old Talisker cost 27 pounds.

Cheers and thanks again for your help

Bolton, Lancs
Level Contributor
2 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

Singapore must be different from Delhi then. I've just had a bottle of gin, sealed, packaged etc with receipt inside, confiscated at Heathrow. Secuirty asked me where I'd purchased it, and when I said Delhi, it was taken.

Southampton, UK
Level Contributor
1,482 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

I stopped buying so-called duty free a number of years ago. The problems it causes are not worth the small savings.

8. Re: Duty Free and transit at Heathrow

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 August 2014, 05:17