I am a big fan of Pod Parking at London’s Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and do indeed think it is worth paying the extra for. I outline my reasoning below.
I get stressed at airports. I can’t help it and rarely come away from a flight without a headache. My stress stems both from getting to the airport itself, which is a 2-hour drive from my home and invariably involves some sort of traffic queue which can cause me to arrive later than planned. But I also get stressed at getting through security, giving myself enough time to get to the gate, getting to the right gate and so on. Of course, these are all low levels of stress, but the result, for me, tends to be a headache and therefore anything I can do to reduce the stress is worth paying a little extra for.
To reduce my stress, I pod park and I travel British Airways in Business Class which means that I get lounge access at Heathrow. My Business Class flights are booked for free (+ taxes and fees) on Avios.
We all know the mantra “time is money”. Well, Pod Parking is definitely faster than Long Stay, and I would argue, because of the availability of decent sized spaces in Pod Parking, a similarly speedy experience as Short Stay parking. In Short Stay, the walk to your car from the Terminal may be faster but finding a suitable space is more difficult and so the whole experience is comparable.
Size of spaces
If you have a premium car, you will want to keep your car safe and ideally park it in a corner spot. There are lots of corners in Pod Parking and overall it seems to be a safer place to park when taking into account of the chances of people opening their car doors on your car, as there is more chance of getting a corner spot. Short stay is convenient but the up-and-up car park is not particularly spacious so I prefer manoeuvring in the Pod Parking car park.
Pod Parking Review
So how does it work? You park like you would in Long Stay, but in the Pod Parking car park. Pod Parking has slightly better space options as outlined above. Then, instead of waiting around in the cold for a bus, you walk over to one of two Pod stations where a Pod is almost always waiting for you like your very own taxi, and it drives you to the terminal. Step in the Pod and press go (the instructions are easy) and you are off. Within moments, you are at the terminal after a surprisingly fun ride in a Pod. My son loved it and insists I book Pod Parking so that he can press all the buttons to drive the pod. If you have a childlike love or flying, airports and all things related, you cannot help but love travelling past planes on the elevated rails of the bridges that the Pod rides along.
How Much Does Pod Parking Cost
We usually book a week at Pod Parking (ish). It is usually £160 compared to £90 at Long Stay, so it does cost more, but in time-saving, de-stressing and good old simple fun, its worth it for us. Short Stay usually comes in at slightly more, but obviously costs depend on dates and your season of travel. It is always advisable to book early as I tried to book my summer (August) Pod Parking in March and it is already sold out! Heathrow Parking seems to offer a pretty decent refund policy if you need to cancel although do check the ts and cs on the website before you book.
You may also be interested in reading my reviews of the British Airways Galleries North and British Airways Galleries South Lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5. These lounges are open to all British Airways Passengers travelling in Business Class. You can also read all my British Airways Airport Lounge reviews.
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