Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Thistle Heathrow now offering FREE use of ‘pods’ – and one month left for Thistle ‘£50 off £100’

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

Back in January, I wrote about the interesting transfer option available if you stay at the Thistle Hotel at HeathrowYou can transfer to and from Terminal 5 in the driverless pods which take customers to and from the car park behind the Thistle!

The only downside – apart from the fact that the Thistle is not the most modern hotel at Heathrow – was the £5 per person, each way, cost of taking the pod which is added to your room bill.

Thistle is currently letting you use the pods for free.

Heathrow Pod 350

You need to stay before April 19th to take advantage.  More importantly, you need to book your stay via the Thistle website.  No other booking method is accepted.

Full details can be found on the Thistle Heathrow ‘pod page’ here.

Don’t forget the very generous Thistle / Amex promotion

Don’t forget that Thistle and Guoman Hotels are offering £50 cashback via American Express when you spend just £100.  In terms of cash savings, it is probably the most generous hotel promotion currently available.

The deadline to take advantage of this offer is April 12th.  You do NOT need to have stayed by April 12th but you do need to have been charged – hopefully not a problem if you book a pre-paid rate, although keep an eye on your statement and be prepared to ring the hotel and beg for them to take payment if necessary.

You need to register your American Express card first via this link or you won’t receive the cashback.  Barclays, Lloyds and MBNA cards are accepted.

If you book a Thistle stay, you should also sign up for their free Thistle Signature loyalty scheme.  Thistle Signature offers the following:

Membership is free

New members get a voucher for a free Sunday night stay at any Thistle or Guoman hotel when staying a Saturday or Monday night at ‘best flexible’ rate (must be used within 3 months of joining)

New members get a voucher for a free Sunday lunch. This can be used on the same visit as the free Sunday night stay voucher.

Sign up to Signature and you will be emailed your ‘free Sunday night’ voucher within a week – I tested this out recently and they were very efficient. 

Before April 12th, when the Amex deal expires, the American Express offer and the Signature sign-up offer would combine nicely.  Book a Saturday and Sunday stay (or Sunday and Monday) and you would get the Sunday night for free.  As long as you spent over £100 on the Saturday or Monday night – including in-hotel spending – you would also trigger the £50 cashback from Amex.

Hotel offers update – June 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? There is:

  • a 80% to 100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points by 19th July 2022 (buy here)
  • a mystery 40% to 55% bonus when you buy Marriott Bonvoy points by 15th July (buy here)
  • a 30% bonus when you buy 5,000+ World of Hyatt points by 1st August (buy here)

Comments (18)

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

  • Stu R says:

    How in gods name do they get away with charging to use something which isn’t theirs?

    The pod is free for all to use; in fact when we’ve got an hour to kill at LHR, we occasionally jump in the pod to the car park and back just for the ride!

    Presumably, they’re charging for transfer between the hotel and the pod station?

    • JQ says:

      Yes, they charge to pass through the gate between the pod station and the hotel

      I’ve tried to “sell” the pod as a tourist attraction to others – the view is actually quite different in the day, at night, at sunrise and at sunset!

    • richie says:

      Id rather sit in the lounge if iv got an hour to kill

  • AndrewM says:

    I stayed there last weekend, and got 2 nights for £99.99 (so had to buy the “chocolate package” to bring it to over £100!). They didn’t charge until after the stay finished, despite being told when booking that the card would be charged at the time of booking.

    I now realise that I should have signed up for the Thistle scheme! One thing not mentioned is that the restaurant (which is already reasonably priced) accepts the Gourmet Society card for 50% off food, even on a Friday night.

  • Owen Rudge says:

    I made a booking a few weeks ago for later this year, which it said I would be charged for immediately, but as of yet, it hasn’t appeared on my card. Has anyone else had this issue and will they actually charge your card if you phone them up and ask?

    • Julie C says:

      Same here. They didn’t take payment within 48 hrs of booking as the website said. A month later, I had no problem when I asked them to take pre-payment for our stay in the autumn. Though it probably depends who you ask. Didn’t have any luck when I emailed the hotel but when I phoned they were fine about it. Happy to say I had an email form Amex saying I had qualified for the £50 back for spending £100 shortly afterwards.

  • Jamie P says:

    Having never used Thistle hotels, has anybody got a recommendation on a property in London? Many thanks

    • CV3V says:

      Stayed in the Thistle Euston a few weekends ago, and bought a package which was a great deal – included room upgrade, bottle of wine and breakfast.

      The location was good and bad (good – its next to Euston, bad – its next to Euston).

      Although the hotel was very busy the staff were great, rooms were good and breakfast was very good, even though it was buffet. It was a rare stay in London where it seemed as if the staff were really trying to go that extra mile.

    • Allan says:

      I made use of the Amex offer at the Thistle Kingsley which is down at Holborn. Very nice hotel and staff.

  • James R says:

    If you don’t have much luggage and don’t mind walking, there’s nothing to stop you walking the “long way round” (out the front of Business Parking), avoiding the gate and it’s £5 fee.

  • Louise says:

    Anyone recommend at thistle hotel outside london for a break with this offer?

    • Brian says:

      Don’t know it personally, but the Thistle in Bristol is in a great location – and Bristol is a wonderful place for a weekend break.

  • David says:

    I once took the pod round to this place to try and grab a spot of lunch on their terrace.

    After speaking to the staff at The Thistle reception they pointed at a dodgy looking chiller of stale sandwiches. After politely declining we had a nose around the restaurant/common areas – the place is knackered and dire need of a refurb!

    Anyway the real fun came when trying to get back through the gate to the pod car park – the staff at reception demanded that we should pay £5 each to get through the gate. I explained that we weren’t staying etc etc and even that we were going to walk to try and get them to let us through. They weren’t haven’t any of it so in the end after arguing on the intercom for several minutes I bloody scaled the 10′ fence and jumped down the other side…

    One of my more adventurous Saturday afternoons…

  • Tariq says:

    Assuming this place passes the Tripadvisor test with the missus, anybody had experience of booking a hotel/parking package at this hotel and got any tips to share? Alternative would be the equivalent package with the Park Inn as chasing Club Carlson points, but the use of the pods (even if we have to pay) and the Amex promo give the Thistle a financial edge.

    • richie says:

      its a basic hotel. doe not compare to the london thistle hotels tho.

      last time i stayed i had booked a double but when i arrived they had sold out of doubles. i was given a twin.
      also my room didnt have a tv remote, i called a few times and was promised a remote would be brought to my room. but it never arrived.
      i was flying in to t5 and back out of t3 the next day so i didnt actually have to pay the £5

      based on experience i wouldnt stay there again. although i will be using a london hotel with this promotion.
      i think its better than the park inn tho.
      for me the premier inn is a decent option and also the doubletree hilton gives you free cookies.

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.