The perfect time-saver for business and leisure travellers, the futuristic driverless pods allow passengers to reach one of the world’s busiest international airports in just five minutes.
Costing only £5 per person, the transport pods allow guests the extra benefit of travelling onto any other Terminal via the Heathrow Express at no extra cost.
Jorgen Rasmussen, general manager, Thistle London Heathrow commented: “While science fiction fantasies such as Jetson’s-style jet packs remain yet distant dreams far off in the future, guests can now enjoy futuristic travel at just the touch of the button, thanks to our hotel’s connection to Heathrow Airport’s Ultrapod network. The pods are a revolutionary, environmentally friendly transport system that's affordable, fast, and extremely fun to use, aspects which both business and leisure travellers are looking for. To no one’s surprise, guest feedback has been overwhelming positive.”
The unique Heathrow pod system – which started life as a Bristol University Aerospace Engineering project – was developed by UK companies Ultra and BAA and consists of 21 low energy, battery powered, driverless, zero emission vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and their luggage along a dedicated 3.8km route.
Since the launch, the pods have carried close to 1 million passengers travelling between the Terminal 5 Business Car Park and the main terminal. The addition of the Thistle Heathrow Hotel marks the first expansion of the network. It is the only hotel with direct access to the network.
Each temperature-controlled Heathrow pod connecting the airport and the Thistle Heathrow hotel has been designed for privacy and comfort and allows passengers to select their own direct destination. There are no timetables (and no waiting), as a central computer ensures that pods are distributed at each station according to passenger demand. When waiting for a passenger, the pods recharge themselves at battery points, so are always ready to go.
The Thistle London Heathrow hotel is the perfect place to start or begin a journey, whether for business or pleasure. The hotel also boasts 13 flexible meeting rooms, the largest seating 700 delegates in a theatre style setting and fast, free unlimited Wi-Fi throughout the hotel so you can ensure you’ll always be connected.