Established in 2006 with a primary emphasis on short-haul flights, Porter Airlines, headquartered at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, is expanding its presence across Canada. The airline’s expansion is particularly welcomed in light of Swoop’s demise and Flair’s ongoing challenges.
Given the considerable unreliability of our two major Canadian airlines, where Air Canada maintains a 50% on-time record compared to WestJet’s 36%, and with the necessity of reaching my destination by a specific date, I wisely scheduled my flights to arrive two days before my cruise departure. Fortunately, this precaution proved to be a wise decision.
Upon booking the flights, one of the initial observations was the remarkably reasonable pricing, featuring two options: Porter or Porter Reserve. The Porter Reserve option provides benefits such as front-of-the-plane seating, extra legroom, two checked bags, premium snacks, and a meal, all for a reasonable additional cost over the standard Porter rate. It’s worth noting that both Porter and Porter Reserve include complimentary beer, wine, and snacks!
Check in at the Edmonton International Airport was a breeze as there was a dedicated line for Porter Reserve and amble check-in staff at the counters.
Boarding proceeded promptly and efficiently, though there was the occasional requirement to show the flight attendant your boarding pass upon entering the plane. While somewhat unusual, it wasn’t entirely unreasonable.
We were lucky enough to snag seats 1a and 1b in the very front on the plane.
Traveling with my son, who stands at an impressive 6’5″ with a size 16 foot, naturally raised concerns about legroom. However, as evident from the picture, there was more than ample space for him to sit comfortably without feeling cramped.
Another huge selling feature of Porter planes is there are NO MIDDLE SEATS! That is right, the dreaded middle seat is not in existence on Porter flights. Window or aisle only. Love it.
Once we were in the air, service was prompt and friendly.
We were on an early morning flight, hence had the breakfast options and Plane Box.
These poached apples were just fantastic! Fresh, crispy and oh so tasty. The biscuit was indeed freshly baked and quite lovely.
A delightful and flavorful bite-sized treat. It’s worth mentioning that there were two in the box, but after devouring all my apples and sneaking some from the kiddo, there was no chance of fitting both into my stomach. Thankfully, having a son with a hearty appetite came in handy, and he managed to enjoy three of them.
A significant highlight for me was Porter’s commitment to using Canadian products whenever feasible. The beer and wine selection showcases Canadian brews, the cheese plate is sourced from Canada, and even the jam is a Made in Canada product! This concept is absolutely fantastic, and it’s one that I wholeheartedly endorse.
Beer and snacks – excellent quality and freshness and all Made in Canada!
Our return flight was Toronto to Edmonton with a departure time of 8:15pm. Being later on, we weren’t sure what to expect but Porter delivered once again!
The wine and beer selection was the same as the menu above.
How amazing is this Plane Box? The 7 Layer Mexican dip was just yummy and it came with fresh jalapeno cornbread, crackers and a truffle.
Slightly full from the amazing Plane Box, I opted for the Cheese and Fruit tray and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. The brie in this box was nothing short of decadent. Again, all Canadian products!
The son opted for the salmon bowl and he was not disappointed either.
We both fell asleep before the snacks, so no idea what else was handed out on the flight.
One final delightful thing in the Plane Box was phone stand! Yes a pop-out cardboard phone holder.
Overall we give Porter a 10 out of 10 for service, affordability and food and will definitely be flying them every chance we get.