Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Stay at the Thistle Heathrow hotel and take a driverless pod to Terminal 5

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Here is one of those odd little facts which may have passed you by.  I was reminded of it when writing my article on the Thistle Hotels ‘Signature’ loyalty scheme on Wednesday.

The biggest downside of staying at one of the hotels at Heathrow which is NOT directly connected to the airport is the slow and painful process of getting to or from the airport.  

The local Heathrow buses are free (this article explains which ones to take) but you need to get to the relevant bus stop and know where to get off.  This is tricky enough before you start to consider carrying your luggage.

Heathrow pods

The Hotel Hoppa bus service picks up directly from outside the terminals and drops you directly at the hotels.  However, the journey can be slow because each bus stops at a number of different hotels on its route.  It also costs a rip-off £5 per person each way.

If you stay at the Thistle Hotel at Heathrow, there is a third option.

The Thistle is situated next to the Heathrow car park from where the driverless pods take you to and from Terminal 5.  You may have seen them going into the terminal as your taxi drives up the approach road. 

The Thistle has done a deal with Heathrow Airport to allow its customers to use the pods.  This being Heathrow, it is not a free service – you are charged £5 per person, each way.  Whilst the price is the same, it should be SUBSTANTIALLY quicker than taking the Hotel Hoppa bus and I imagine that it is substantially more fun.

You can find out more about this service on the Thistle Heathrow website here.  You can book the Thistle Heathrow from £53 per night in the current Thistle sale (click here) – book by January 14th for stays until the end of June.

Hotel offers update – August 2022:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 18th September 2022. The annual limit is doubled to 160,000 points plus your bonus. You can buy here.

Comments (20)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Joe says:

    i was scheduled tostay with a parking and stay option but decided not to stay as got an earlier flight in. the hotel claims lhr charge them the £5 so that’s why they have to charge you. I think it’s expensive too, but priced right given the ridiculous hoppa charge. If you’re not in a rush/time it right the 423 goes to t5 from outside the hotel every 30 mins and that’s free

  • CWK says:

    I’d just catch an Uber if there’s 2 or more of you, it’ll be minimum fare + parking, driver will enter the terminal and help with your bags. I’m sure there’s a HfP promo code, so it’ll be free for first time users!

  • What's the Point says:

    Offer on my Gold Amex today (plus other hotel chains, inc Hilton)

    Spend £100 or more, get £50
    Save to Card to get a £50 statement credit when spending £100 or more when you pay and stay at UK Thistle and Guoman Hotels by 12/04/15. Valid once per Card. Terms apply.
    Please read the Offer Terms

    • Lloyd says:

      I see the same Amex offer. I’m looking for book to stay in June but assume that if I get a prepaid rate then it is going to count? Anyone know whether Thistle do actually take payment at time of booking? Assume that if I add parking to the booking the money will be taken at the same time?

      Just also wondered, whats stopping you getting the pod for free on return from LHR, walking out of the main entrance and walking round to the Thistle to collect the car (and vice versa the other way round)? Surely cant take more than a few extra minutes and saves a tenner for a couple!

      • Lloyd says:

        Ok having looked at the map I can that is more than a few minutes walk as cars have to go South and exit of the Thistle is North and a very circuitous route in between!

        Still very interested whether the prebooking of an advance rate with an add on of 15 days parking will all be charged at once?!

      • Alan says:

        Yes the Hilton spend £250 get £50 back offer is on again, although still only UK hotels so unlikely to be able to make use of it this time around 🙁

  • Choons says:

    Don’t forget the Hoppa bus is free for children too, so factor that in

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.