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Bits: Heathrow suspends PODs, Hotel Indigo opens in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Kindle Unlimited offer

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News in brief:

Heathrow suspends POD transfers to long-term car parking

The futuristic driverless POD monorail at Heathrow was, by far, the easiest way to travel between the long-term car park and Terminal 5. My son has been badgering me for years to let him ride it, even though we never drive to the airport – he wanted to arrive early and do a return trip just for the sake of it.

A message has appeared on the Heathrow website to say that:

“POD parking will be operating a bus service from 22nd November for the foreseeable future”

This sounds ominous, but is presumably due to reduced use of the long-term car parks at the moment. The bus service will operate from 4.30am to 11pm with an ‘on demand’ service available outside of these hours, which must be requested by telephone.

The removal of the POD service removes the only possible reason to stay at the terribly dated Thistle Heathrow hotel.

As we reviewed here, the sole benefit of staying at the Thistle was that – for a £6 fee – you could take the 30 second walk from the hotel to the long-term car park and be deposited in Terminal 5 in style by a POD.

Heathrow pods

IHG opens a Hotel Indigo on the French Riviera

IHG has just opened Hotel Indigo Cagnes-sur-Mer, the brand’s first hotel on the French Riviera. Details are here.

This looks, on the face of it, like a very attractive option for someone who wants to enjoy life on the riviera but is put off by the scale and bustle of Nice and Cannes. With just 87 rooms, the Hotel Indigo is also very much a boutique compared to monoliths such as InterContinental Cannes, albeit this is currently closed for refurbishment.

Cagnes-sur-Mer sits between Cannes and Nice, and its attractions include a castle and a Renoir museum. It has a train station (marked as 1km from the hotel) which makes it easy to pop along to Nice, Cannes, Antibes or Monaco.

To quote:

“As guests enter Hotel Indigo Cagnes-sur-Mer, they will be met with an array of light turquoise hues that contrast with rich darker blues to reflect the unique shades of the sea and the endless skies which the Riviera is known for. The soft furnishings throughout the hotel’s public areas continue to evoke a nautical feel, with decorative rugs that feature waved patterns, the use of soft curved edges, and light fittings which mimic the waves that lap up against the coastline. Nodding to the destination’s link to notable French artists, the artwork that can be seen throughout the hotel has been specially curated, partnering with local talent. Thanks to a partnership with Eric Garence, the Cote d’Azur ambassador and poster designer, guests can send home a one-of-a-kind postcard to family and friends.”

Facilities include a rooftop pool and an Italian restaurant specialising in locally caught seafood. The hotel website says that a free airport shuttle service is available if you pre-book.

Rates seem reasonable, with random dates next May starting at around €150, albeit that rooms are relatively small. The hotel is a new build and so should be in excellent condition.

You can find out more on the IHG website here.

Hotel Indigo Cagnes sur Mer

Get 3-months of Kindle Unlimited for just £7.99

Amazon has launched another Black Friday offer.

If you have a Kindle device, or are happy using the Kindle app on your iPad, other tablet or smartphone, you can claim a ‘three months for the price of one’ trial of Kindle Unlimited via this link.

Kindle Unlimited allows you unlimited access over 1 million books, thousands of audiobooks and selected magazine subscriptions.  You won’t struggle to keep yourself busy for the next three months.

The standard £0 free trial offer is also still available via the same link. You need to decide whether 3-months for £7.99 or 1-month for £0 is more useful to you. In both cases, the subscription fee reverts to £7.99 per month after your trial period if you don’t cancel.

You can sign up is here.  The offer ends on 30th November.

(I know this is non-core to HfP, but we have a good relationship with Amazon who always keep us up to date with their offers. The commission we earn if you sign up keeps us ticking over whilst airline and hotel advertising remains weak.)

Don’t forget the 99p Audible offer too

As we mentioned last week, Audible, Amazon’s audiobook subsidiary, has also launched a special promotion in the run up to Black Friday.  See here.

Until 30th November, you can claim 3 months of Audible for just 99p.  This works out at 33p per month.

You can choose one free audiobook per month during your trial.

The offer is not available if you have had an Audible trial in the last 12 months.  If you don’t see the 99p offer like this when logged in to your Amazon account:

Audible 99p trial

….. then you don’t qualify.

The link to sign up is here.  This offer also ends on 30th November.

Comments (46)

  • TT says:

    I’ve just arrived in the US. My booking is now showing as one way, can’t see the return leg, let alone choose seats.
    Does anyone know what might be happening here? It was previously ok. Booked with amex travel.

  • Lady London says:

    BJ you’ll know this but not sure you’re around.

    Do we get to keep the books after the trial with Kindle Unlimited?
    Do we get to keep the Audible books after the trial?

    Pretty sure you said BJ on the Music trials we don’t get to keep. But one of the others apparently we do?

    • JohnT says:

      No, kindle books are removed from library.

    • Anna says:

      Hi LL, Kindle Unlimited is like a library, you can have so many out at once but you can’t keep them unless you buy them separately.
      Audible – you keep all the books because you’ve paid for them, the monthly fee only gets you one book so you need to make sure you’re getting a good deal. There are usually good offers on extra books though so you can add what you like, and of course each books represents several hours of listening.

    • Lady London says:

      Thanks both

  • Kate says:

    Rob, my kids when younger persuaded me to arrive at the airport the day before and we tried every combination of POD trip from car parks A, B and Terminal, until we were finally barred by a voice over the tannoy. (We then moved on to Heathrow Express interterminal trips for the afternoon, but that’s another story.) Suffice to say, big fans of the PODS. Sad they are out of action.

    • Mike says:

      How proverbially (and sadly) British of someone to tell you and your kids off for taking the pods one too many times. Imagine if you were told off for taking too many bus trips in London.

  • Paul says:

    I have tried to book the pod car park on 3 recent occasions with no luck. On one trip to T5 from Long Stay car park we passed by the pod car park and there where plenty of empty spaces, so I was amazed that I was not able to book it online?

  • David says:

    I wonder if they have stopped the pods because too many people have been using them to get to T5 since the £5 drop-off fee started ? I know you still had to pay to use the pods but at least you get something exciting for your money instead of just walking along a pavement !!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      The pods are free to use it’s the gate from the Thistle Hotel to the car park that you have to pay for.
      However you would have to have the person dropping you off to pay parking charges if they used the pod parking car park. The long stay car parks are separate to the pod parking. It’s the long stay parking that gives you a free 15 minutes to drop off.

  • revlou says:

    Rob – sorry to be pedantic, but I don’t believe the PODs are technically a “monorail” as they don’t run on a “rail” per se (although happy to be corrected!).

    As others have mentioned, the PODs are great in principle (when they work…), but the ride is ridiculously rough about half way through the journey when they pick up a bit of speed. Also, not very futuristic when they’re visibly running an ancient version of Windows.

  • GMS says:

    The reason for the Pods being suspended can’t be due to reduced usage of the car park as suggested in the article. I’ve used the pod parking twice in the last two weeks and the car park has been very full. I’d say on a par with, if not busier than, pre-Covid times.
    I had to queue for a pod after parking at 5.30am a couple of weeks ago. Parked again yesterday (20th), car park still very busy and pods still running. But I guess on my return I will be packed into a bus.
    Heathrow’s customer service is frankly non existent. I guess they have just got rid of so many staff. If I’d known the Pods were not going to run I’d have just booked the much cheaper long stay car park. Doubt they will offer any refunds!

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