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Thistle Heathrow charging £8 for the driverless pods to T5 – but it can still save you money

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One of the lesser known secrets of Heathrow airport is that guests of the Thistle Heathrow hotel can use the driverless pods to get to Terminal 5.

The hotel backs on to the pod parking car park.  The Thistle has added a door into the car park, and for a fee they will give you the PIN code!  Once you are in the car park, you can hop into a pod and be in Terminal 5 within a couple of minutes.  It also works in reverse, making the Thistle an easy hotel to reach if landing at Terminal 5.

Thistle Heathrow now charging £8 for the driverless pods to T5

We reviewed Thistle Heathrow T5 hotel here.  This is not a great hotel BUT using the driverless pods in the car park to take you directly to Terminal 5 is pretty cool.

We reviewed the driverless pods here, because we’re a bit sad.

I’m not sure when this happened, but the fee for using the pods has gone up from £6 to £8 per person.  The hotel claims that it passes the money on to Heathrow, so don’t blame them, although £8 each way is certainly getting a bit chunky.

Full details of the Thistle Heathrow’s pod access can be found on the hotel website here.

The pods operate from 4am to 12.15am daily.

If you need a hotel and parking, you can still save money here

Here is the website to book the pod car park at Heathrow. When you ask for a Terminal 5 parking quote, ‘POD Parking Terminal 5’ will be one of the options that appears.

However, as you can see on its website here, the Thistle Heathrow T5 hotel also offers ‘stay, park and fly’ packages. To quote the website:

If you’re arriving by car, our on-site parking has availability for 450 cars, and our Heathrow Park & Fly Packages are perfect if you are catching the red-eye or landing in the wee small hours. Stay with us and enjoy a good night’s sleep, knowing you’re moments away from your terminal.

And as part of this package, you can leave your car with us for 4, 8, 15, or 22 days at a discounted parking rate, when reserved with accommodation. Additional nights of parking are available from just £15.00 per car per night.

It is likely that a ‘stay, park and fly’ package at the Thistle will be cheaper than booking the pod car park and a hotel separately. Parking at the Thistle Heathrow T5 hotel is virtually the same experience as using the Heathrow pod car park at a lower cost.

You can find out more on the Thistle London Heathrow Terminal 5 website here.

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Comments (62)

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  • Chris says:

    Isn’t it still ‘free’ if you walk round to the main pod parking area?
    Was a pretty short walk if I remember.

    • Tom says:

      Because of all the fences the shortest route is about 2 miles and some of it is on fast roads with no footpath – I checked out this “option” six months ago and decided the bus was the best option outside peak times.

  • MrMcBurger says:

    have used thistle a few times for early departure. Makes more sense than sleeping for a few hours in the car!
    Also, the pods are ideal if you have lots of luggage like wintersports gear.
    Marriott also do Park & Fly and it’s not much more than thistle and you can get the redbus.

  • Rob says:

    The Red bus only takes 5 minutes, and at £1.75 considerably cheaper, catch it on the side of the Thistle, not the Premier Inn side. Pod was good when it was £4.50, £6 was too expensive, £8 ridiclous, wouldn’t be so bad if it was £8 per pod, but if there are 2 or 4, daylight robbery, at least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask

  • rdmlondon says:

    £15 taxi ride from the rank at the terminal. Lot less hassle and cheaper even for 2 people.

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

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