If you’ve been following my blog here for the past few weeks you’ll know that I recently flew to New York with Porter Airways. I wanted to write a bit about my experience with the airline since it was the first trip I’ve taken with them. One of the great things about flying with Porter from Toronto is getting to fly out of Billy Bishop airport. If you live in the downtown core like I do getting to their airport if faster and cheaper than making the trek out to Pearson. First you have to take an amazingly short ferry ride across to the terminal from the main land. You can you see why they are building a tunnel across the gap.
Check-in was super easy and quick since the airport wasn’t all that busy on a Sunday morning. Since we were reasonably early we got to hang out a bit in the nice lounge Porter has setup. There are snacks, coffee (espresso) and other various cold drinks setup for you for free. There is also lots of nice places to sit and hangout even if you’re traveling with a large group. Don’t worry there is also free Wi-Fi.
Getting onto the airplane was probably the oddest and most interesting part of the flight. In Toronto there aren’t ramps from the gate straight into the airplane like at more airports. That means transferring into a small “wheelchair” that can climb the four or so steps up into the plane and then down the narrow aisle. It all worked very well and without any trouble but it’s a bit of a strange process.
The flight itself was very nice, if a bit loud. That’s really my only complaint about the whole thing. Since the planes Porter uses are turbo prop planes they tend to be a bit louder in the cabin than i’m used to when flying. I’m not sure if seat selection would make this any better now not, I was in the 4th row. We got a nice snack box to hold us over until dinner and were offered free drinks including beer and wine.
Coming home was much the same experience over all. The major difference were that the Newark airport is quite large so checking in and going through security takes a lot longer. Also there are ramps to the plane so no stair climbing until you get off the plane in Toronto again. Our return flight was in the evening so we were just offered a small snack or chips or a cookie if you wanted. Which of course was fine but a little disappointing compared to the food on the flight out.
The Porter lounge in Newark is fine but not nearly as nice as the one in Toronto. I get the feeling they worked within the confines of the space they were provided at that airport. There is still wi-fi, coffee and snacks it’s just not quite as comfortable.
All in all I would recommend Porter. I got our seats were on sale so the price difference was negligible and I may have even saved cash getting to and from the airport in Toronto. I think they offer good value even at full price and is worth considering for your next trip. I guess this review didn’t end up being so mini but there you go. Feel free to ask and question you have in the comments below.