What is the Heathrow Pod?

The Heathrow Pods are a fleet of automatic driverless electronic vehicles which transport customers between London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 and the Thistle Hotel in the space of 5 minutes.

How much does it cost?

The hotel charges and collects £5.00 per person per journey which is passed onto the operator. We do not profit directly from the journey sales - these are all collected on behalf of the operator.

Pod operating times*:

Monday to Friday: Open 0300hrs – Close 0100hrs
Saturday: Open 0300hrs – Close 2300hrs
Sunday: Open 0400hrs - Close 0100hrs


1. Turn right out of Arrivals (windows to your left).
2. Head towards the Meeting Point North sign, past M&S Simply Food and turn left at the Yellow Exit Sign just before the Giraffe Juice Bar, towards the lifts.
3. Take lift to Level 2 (Business Car Park) to Pod station.
4. Please leave your trolleys before the barriers.
5. Make your way to any of the screens next to Pods.
6. Touch the screen and it will give you 2 options - press Station B and then press OK, Pod doors will open automatically.
7. Once you are in the Pod press Close to shut the door.
8. Press Start. ( it will take exactly 5 minutes to reach STATION B)
9. Turn right when you exit the Pod and then turn left for a few yards until you see a Steel gate on the right saying "Access to Thistle Heathrow".
10. Please press the Call button. The hotel Receptionist will ask for your name or confirmation number and you will be given a 4 digit code to enter followed by #.
11. After entering the code please pull the door and follow the green footpath in front of you which will lead to a Reception entrance. You will then see an internal door which says "RECEPTION". You will be required to pay the money at Reception for using the Pod. (Pod fee is £5.00 per person one way)

As soon as you come out from the arrivals take the exit after the Giraffe Juice bar on your right and you will see the lifts in front of you – FYI - please follow the directions from the Point 3. highlighted in red from above to continue your journey to Thistle Heathrow.

1. Purchase your Pod ticket (£5 per person) from Reception which will have unique 4 digit code to allow you through the gate.
2. Go through the door opposite Reception (marked Car Park A) and follow the green path and signs to T5 Pod.
3. When you reach the steel gate enter your 4 digit code followed by the # key. Turn left and look for Station B.
4. Touch the screen – it will ask “Where do you want to go?” Press Terminal 5 and OK. A Pod will arrive in moments if not already there.
5. Enter Pod, press close door button and then Start. Your journey will take exactly 5 minutes to Terminal 5 and you will arrive at Car Park Level 2, Business Parking.
6. When you exit the Pod, go to the adjacent lifts and press Departures Level 5 for Departures. From Heathrow Express and Underground station you need to take the lift to arrivals which is based on Level (0) and follow the same procedure, but please keep in mind that while taking the lift to Arrivals it will go first to Departures and then arrivals (Lift has been programmed).

* We have been advised by the owner and operator of Heathrow Pod Parking that the Pod will be shutdown for planned maintenance.  We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause. Dates of the maintenance work is as follows: Saturday and Sunday - 22nd September at 01:00 to Monday 24th September 03:00 Saturday and Sunday - 29th September at 01:00 to Monday 1st October 03:00. In order for Heathrow Rail to support the continued operation of the POD track transit they need to perform some urgent and essential repairs that will close down the System over the above dates. The Pod will be back in service on the Monday.

The Pod will have a replacement bus service in place however, alternative transport option are the Hotel Hoppa bus (chargeable at £5 per person - same as the Pod) or the Free Local buses Number 423 or 7.
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