I considering using Porter Airlines to fly to Montréal last week because of sheer convenience. Flying out of Toronto Island airport seemed so much easier than schelping all the way up to Pearson International. Plus, I have always enjoyed their jazzy, laidback radio ads, and I wanted to see what I've been missing.
They did not disappoint.
- First of all, I was able to get a seat sale - $41 one-way flight (before taxes) was an offer I could not refuse.
- The trip to the airport was super fun - a FREE shuttle from the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, and then a quick ferry ride across the lake. I felt like a kid again.
- There was NO lineup at security. I think I even saw a security guard smile.
- They call their waiting room a lounge for good reason. Patrons have full access to a host of goodies in the kitchen (including 2 high-tech espresso bars), a "business centre" (with a dozen iMac desktop computers, à la Apple Store), and a elegant seating area (clean and comfortable grey streamline decor, with private areas for groups and families).
- Once on the plane, the snacks were not pretzels and cookies. En route to Montréal (which I should say was only 55 minutes), we were given a small bag of Terra root vegetable chips, and a beverage (which included Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea). And on the way back, our snack was a perfect-sized roast chicken sandwich, a basil and olive oil tossed pasta salad, and a Lindt chocolate (pictured in the box above). Decadence!
- This was the kicker: on my way back home, I arrived at Montréal Trudeau airport almost 2 hours early (poor calculation on my part). At check-in, the representative smiled, and offered to switch my flight to an earlier flight - at no charge. So I ended up getting home almost 2 hours earlier than expected!
I don't normally plug businesses on the blog, but I am willing to make an exception in this case. This easily the best and easiest travel experience I have ever had. I will be looking for any excuse to fly Porter in the near future, and I recommend you give them a chance.
Also, I must give kudos to the designers behind the Porter Airlines design and brand team. I am completely smitten over Porter the Raccoon. (You can only imagine how ecstatic I was to see him on the cover of my sandwich box, eating the letters 'p' and 'r'.) Below are a few more example of the illustration work, conceived by Neal Whittington in 2006, and now under the fine direction of Erica Dorn. Bravo!