I will arrive with 5 suitcases at Heathrow airport, I am alone, how do I get help to transport it all through customs?
There is a Heathrow Porter service for luggage:
Heathrow porters are at your service to help with luggage. The service costs from £9 for a standard amount of luggage.
Porters are available on terminal forecourts and in baggage reclaim halls.
On your departure they will meet you and your party on the forecourt and escort your luggage to the check-in desk.
On your return journey they will meet you and your party by the carousel and take you and your luggage to a point of transport or a waiting relative.
Contact us and booking
Telephone: +44 (20) 8745 6011
You can book one directly on that site.
You could pay for a porter, like Mark Mayo suggested, but I would personally rather use a baggage cart, or trolley, even if I had to pay for one. According to Heathrow's website, they're free to use in Heathrow airport.
Baggage trolleys are provided for your use free of charge in key areas around the terminal buildings.
Arriving passengers will find plenty of trolleys in baggage reclaim, and these can be taken to the car park, bus station or rail station access points.
Trolleys are also provided on the departures concourse. Please note that they can't be taken through security control.
In the interests of safety, please don't let children ride on the trolleys.
They should look something like this:
Depending on the size of your bags, you should be able to fit all or most of your bags on the cart, if you're careful; the one or two that don't fit can either get their own cart, or can be towed by hand. Done!
Two people have suggested that porters are available AT the luggage carousel.
But I'd be surprised if porters are allowed t be in the customs controlled area for international flights.
If so, problem solved, if $ cost is OK.
However, I'd strongly expect that a lady travelling alone who could not manage to fit all bags on one trolley, would attract offers of assistance from a number of people if seen struggling to push two carts at once. You'd get my help (as would anyone in that situation) and I'd expect an adequate number of equally helpful people on most flights.
Failing that - I suspect that asking the cabin staff at point of departure from the aircraft would result in some sort of assistance.
I know I could fit 5 bags of any size on any trolley - but most people stand clear
when they see me coming at the best of times :-). If I knew I HAD to do this I'd take a roll of parcel tape (which I usually carry anyway) to assist me in fitting 5 bags on one trolley. It would look unusual, but it would work if they did not fit stably by themselves. I also use tape with "ocean jumping bags" as required - see below.
Portable self help: When making international hops and luggage refuses to tidily fit into 'normal' cases my family uses what we term "Ocean Jumping bags". That's just a fun name for 'anything cheap light and BIG that you can rapidly fit lots and lots of stuff into" - so these can be anything that works, BUT ours usually look like this the picture below.
In many countries you can buy large flexible polyester (I think) zipped bags that are "strong enough" but which provide minimal protection for contents by themselves. However, you can fit two or maybe three largish "ordinary bags inside one of these and push various bits and pieces around the bags - which makes fitting things on trolleys and keeping them together that much easier. I may tape the filled bag with parcel tape as required to stop it being too floppy. Pretty they are not - but they serve the need very well indeed. You can even, if you really have to, drag one of these along a floor or even smooth concrete without damage to the bags inside. (Don't overdo it).
I have described ocean jumping bag use in more detail in my answer to this question - but this is what typical ones look like.