I recently spent an awesome weekend in Chicago visiting friends. This blog post is not about that weekend, but about the airline that got me there and back. You may have (ok, most definitely have) heard me talk about Porter before, but please allow me to indulge in a rave review.
I first heard about Porter when I started flying to Toronto regularly for work as a convenient and less expensive option to get back and forth from Chicago. The small Canadian airline is a gem amongst its colossal competition. Their unassuming gate at Chicago Midway leads to small propeller planes with seats large enough to use a normal sized laptop comfortably. Always smiling flight attendants serve a selection of snacks (mmm cookies) and drinks (in proper glasses) – all free.
That’s free wine y’all, no upgrade required.
Air travel is always a pain, but Porter does their best to alleviate as much pain as possible. At Midway, Porter gives you access to the priority security line, which is great but doesn’t begin to touch the experience at their hub in Toronto. Rather than schlepping all the way to Pearson, they fly out of a small airport on an island just a stone’s throw from downtown. Getting there just requires a five minute ferry ride (soon to be replaced by a tunnel, which is more logical but sadly less whimsical), before arriving at the airport terminal.
The airport is tiny, so security is always a breeze, and before you know it you’re making yourself a (free) latte and helping yourself to (free) cookies and roasted almonds in the (free) snack bar. If you’re in need of something more substantial, there’s also a small cafe with better than normal airport food.
stuffed your purse full of cookies helped yourself to a light snack, you’re free to settle in to a cushy armchair by the window, set your proper tea cup on a side table (as opposed to using your carry on or the adjacent seat as a table), and catch up on blog posts via wifi (did I mention that’s free too?) with all the comfort of your own living room. Blaring announcements are kept to a minimum, and rather than crowding around the gate to board, flights are called just before departure and you’re whisked through the doors and onto the plane with minimal jostling for a position in the queue. That the concept of treating airline passengers like people instead of cattle is so novel speaks volumes about the sad state of the travel industry, so I can only hope that Porter expands beyond their small US footprint.
New Orleans, perhaps? A girl can dream.
PS, how cute is their mascot Mr. Porter?