I had a day trip to Toronto that I need to accomplish and wanting to keep costs down, I select Porter Airlines out of Midway to get me there. I have flown Porter a few times before and was very impressed by their enthusiastic staff, comfortable planes and convenient location. Porter is based out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre airport (YTZ). The airport is right next to downtown Toronto and is actually separated from the city by just a thin canal of water (YTZ is on an island). Once you land, you take a short 1 minute ferry ride across the canal to Toronto. From there you can either take a cab into the downtown area or take the free shuttle bus that drops you off near the center of Toronto.
Porter is the only airline that is serviced by Toronto City Centre airport so you will have no issues finding the correct airline or gate for your departure.
When you get off the ferry onto the island, you go through security as usual but with much less wait and crown lines. After security, you take an escalator down into the Porter lounge to await your flight. The lounge is very modern and comfortable with plenty of flat panel monitors showing upcoming departures times and gates. There is a large snack area that has free coffee, bottled water, soft drinks and snacks while you wait for your flight. They also have a bank of 20 plus iMAC computers for customer use over in a quiet area. I found the lounge very comfortable and a welcome change to the usual sparse waiting area that the non elite customers have to endure.
Once on the plane, Porter provides another perk that you usually only find in first class; free food and in the evening free alcohol (a limited selection of beer and wine).
My ‘dinner’ on the way back consisted of a small portion of very tasty potato salad, a chicken chibata bread sandwich and a small chocolate bar. I opted for the red wine, which came in real glass not plastic and was even offered a refill.
The only downside to the flight was there were only 10 people on the return to Chicago. How is that a downside you may ask? Well, I want the airline to stay in business and with that few customers I don’t know how they can keep it up.