You may recall that I don’t have a loyalty to any airline especially in today’s travel market place where achieving status from “butt in seat miles” takes a lot of time sitting on a plane. I have travelled on many airlines over the years including the “no thrills” to the highest rated in the industry; however I have a new favorite airline.
Are you ready? Drum roll please….it is Porter Airlines! Hmmm I know what most of you are thinking; how have I have never heard of this airline. Well, it is a small airline that is
headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Porter has flights to 15 destinations in Canada and 8 US destinations focused on the East coast and Midwest regions. It has been named “Top Small Airline in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award.
What I love about Porter Airlines:
The flight attendants had genuine smiles on their faces because they were enjoying their job.
Everyone is treated with respect. The boarding process is extremely simple allowing those who need extra time or assistance to go first followed by Porter Premium Access. We then commence with general boarding process. There is no song and dance about lining up in group numbers or boarding by what status level you are today. Easy and simple.
The seat configuration allows for a very generous 17 inch seat width and 32 seat pitch. This is the same legroom you pay extra for on most carriers.
There are no middle seats! All of the flights use a Bombardier Q400 which has a 2 – 2 configuration.
Everyone gets lounge access in Toronto! The lounge offers complimentary snacks, sodas, teas, coffee and espresso machines.
On every flight a selection of snacks is offered complimentary along with your choice of beverage including beer or wine. Your beverage is served; wait for it…in real glassware. Wow free upgrade to 1st class!
Amazing customer service from everyone you encounter associated to the airline. Even though I had to check my bag on the return flight due to a strict carryon weight limit; the agent was very kind to remind me that if I paid for the baggages fees online it would be $10 cheaper.
The airline has an adorable stylized raccoon character as their mascot named Mr. Porter. How fun is that!
What would I wish for?
I hope that Porter expands it’s routes and considers adding a hub in the US.
Given that Porter is currently a privately held wholly owned subsidiary I hope that as growth continues they don’t lose sight of their amazing brand for a little extra profit.
While Porter Airline’s tag line states “flying refined” it definitely captures their classy service and image. However I think that Porter Airlines exemplifies what airline travel should be; or perhaps it is a reminder of travel standards from the glory days of 1960’s. It is comforting to know there is at least one airline that treats you with dignity; regardless of your ticketed class.
Here you are at the airport looking for a place to sit and perhaps have a snack. Let’s step away from all the airport hustle and bustle and take some time to relax in a comfy seat.
How do you get lounge access?
You can get lounge access based on your ticket class, frequent flier status, credit cards or you can simply pay for a day pass. Lounge Buddy is an amazing app that I have loaded on my phone to check out my lounge access. It is easy to utilize based on your specific status, credit card and itinerary.
Domestic carriers do not provide any lounge access for first class domestic travel. I fail to understand the logic of this when you take in consideration New York to Honolulu nonstop travel time is 11.5 hours versus New York to Dublin nonstop travel time is a mere 6.5 hours.
Where do I find lounge reviews?
Lounges very diversely in amenities from the basic coffee and cookie with a somewhat comfortable seat; all the way to gourmet dining with plush comfortable lounge chairs. You can get a review similar to trip advisor specific to lounges at loungereview.com to get started. However if you are looking for reviews on a specific lounge I recommend checking out boardingarea.com which has independent travel blogger reviews to many different lounges.
When should I use a one time visit pass?
I save my one time passes to utilize at lounges outside of the US because the benefits are typically much more generous. However for domestic travel; I would utilize them for long layovers or your flight gets delayed. Keep in mind that lounges typically have airline agents available that are usually very accommodating to help with travel issues.
Last year I was waiting for a flight from Chicago to Washington DC yet my flight was continuously getting delayed and I wanted to get on the standby list for an earlier flight. In order to add yourself to a standby list you must speak with an agent in person or on the phone. Given the storms on the east coast causing the delays the phone call wait time was over 1 hour; yet a short walk up to the desk in the lounge and magic. I am on the standby list and actually better yet the agent booked me a seat as the flight was boarding soon. By the way, my original flight was cancelled after 5 hours of delays.
Lastly let’s talk briefly about appropriate lounge etiquette. It saddens me that this is not common sense but alas here we are my friends. The lounge is similar to relaxing in a friends living room. Don’t put your feet on the couch; it does not belong to you. Be considerate of your fellow lounge neighbors; trust me that nobody wants to hear every detail of your day or witness a FaceTime call with your family. Your personal life should be just that; remember you are in a public space. There are usually business office spaces or private rooms for anyone looking to have a long personal chat. In the event that you are traveling with children please ensure your children are not running around the lounge or playing with their iPad at full volume. Be comfortable but be respectful!