Since opening for business in 2006, Toronto-based Porter Airlines has been a popular choice for business and leisure travelers taking short-haul flights along the eastern seaboard and other nearby cities, including Toronto, Montreal, New York, Chicago. In an era when air travel has become increasingly complicated and often stressful, Porter has managed to impress passengers with a mix of style and service.
The Porter experience begins in its airport lounges (in Toronto, Ottawa, and Newark, New Jersey). These spaces offer ticket-holding passengers free access to many of the creature comforts found in other airlines fee-based VIP areas: plush seating, free coffee, tea, soft drinks and cookies, free wifi and workstations for those without their own Internet-enabled device.
When it’s time to board one of Porter’s fleet of Bombardier Q400 regional airplanes, you’ll find roomy custom leather seats and staff dressed in navy uniforms designed to mimic the style worn by flight attendants in the 1960s. And the complimentary treats continue in the air, too. On all its flights, Porter offers a choice of wines from Jackson-Triggs winery in Niagara. White wine fans will find the winery’s 2011 Black Reserve Chardonnay, while those who want a glass of red can enjoy 2010 Black Reserve Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon.
The airline’s on-board beer is Steamwhistle pilsner, the brand brewed since 2000 in downtown Toronto, in the historic Roundhouse building. The beer is a favorite among Torontonians for its light, crisp taste and distinctive green packaging. Porter doesn’t spare the finer details, either: all beverages are served in real glasses, not plastic.