Checking luggage after security & immigration at Heathrow T3
I just bought a large 100+L Rimowa case in London and would like to claim VAT. According to normal procedures, I need to show the VAT officers the good I'm claiming VAT for (which happens to be after immigration). The Rimowa is too big to bring onto the plane as cabin baggage, so is it possible to check it after immigration and how? If I don't claim VAT, I'm forgoing close to £200..
Programs: Hilton HHonors Diamond, British Airways Silver, Aer Lingus Gold, Priority Club Platinum, ABP
There is supposed to be a landside customs desk to cater for things that can't be carried on (usually wine). No clue where that is in T3, but it's bound to exists somewhere. Try the airport website or information desk.
FYI there is not generally outbound passport checking in the UK.
The system is fairly straightforward. I have not done it recently in T3 but did it the other day in T1, with items which were packed in my bag. I checked in, explaining that I needed to reclaim VAT. They printed off a tag for the suitcase but handed the suitcase back to me. I then went to the (well-hidden) Customs office with my tagged bag and the receipt from the shop. I filled in a fairly simple form and handed it with the receipt to the Customs Officer. As it happened, the Customs officer did not inspect the items (but probably should have), instead just stamping the form and handing me the paperwork for the reclaim.
After rechecking my bag and going through security, I then went to the Travelex counter beyond security, where the refund was processed onto my card. It sounds convoluted, but I would think it only took 10 minutes in all.