Porter Airlines and VIPorter Points

porter raccoon toasting with champagne
image: Porter

Porter Airlines operates regularly scheduled short-haul flights between Toronto and locations in eastern Canada and the United States. It has interline agreements with a growing number of partners allowing passengers to change from a flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again.

In 2017, Porter was rated as 7th Best Regional Airline in the world by Skytrax.

Boomertraveller has used Porter several times to fly between Toronto and Ottawa.

BoomerTraveller Review

Pros

  • Great customer service – no matter what your status you get treated respectfully.
  • Frequently the best fare (particularly if you use one of the many discounts usually available [e.g., look up Porter discount coupons, promotion / discount code]).
  • Porter’s lounges are free of charge, and open to all departing passengers with a valid boarding pass. All Porter lounges feature an array of free amenities, including wireless internet access, beverages and snacks, and business work stations equipped with iMac computers. The lounge adds a touch of class back to an industry that normally makes you feel like economy livestock.
  • Check in is a breeze.
  • Large seats (Air Canada, WestJet and Alaska Airlines, the other three North American carriers flying the same Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, have up to 2 inches less than Porter).
  • No dreaded three-seat rows.
  • In-flightsnacks, Canadian beer and wine on flights for all, Re:Porter Magazine.
  • Retro uniforms are rather glamorous.
  • Porters’ hub is located at the Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island (and a complimentary ferry and shuttle drives you to the Royal York Hotel near Union Subway Station), which saves you about two hours and associated cab fare if you are going to be staying downtown (compared to Pearson Airport out in the boonies).
Porter's retro uniforms.
Porter’s retro uniforms. Image: Porter

Cons

  • Small aircraft (Bombardier Q400, limited by the runway at the Billy Bishop Airport), and while comfortable, you do feel turbulence more than in a big plane.
  • Replaced their chocolate chip shortbread cookies with plain shortbread cookies (boo).
  • Does not have interline agreements with WestJet and Air Canada, which would be helpful to access more destinations.
  • Does not service western Canada.

Porter fare options

 Firm

  • Refundable within 24 hours of booking, up to 1 hour prior to departure
  • Carry-on included (1 standard + personal item)
  • Classic seat selection per direction $20 – $23
  • Premium seat selection per direction $30 – $34.50
  • Premium PLUS seat selection per direction $40 – $46
  • Cancellations or changes for flights within Canada per direction: $75 – $86.25 plus any fare difference
  • Cancellations or changes for flights to and from the United States per transaction: $200 – $230 plus any fare difference
  • Cancellations or changes for VIPorter redemption flights per direction: $50 – $57.50 plus any fare difference
  • Same-day changes on day of departure $150 – $172.50
  • Same-day changes between Toronto (YTZ) and Montréal (YUL) or Ottawa (YOW) $75 -$86.25
  • Same-day changes to earlier flight at the airport between Toronto (YTZ) and Montréal (YUL) or Ottawa (YOW) free
  • Same-day change to earlier flight between Toronto (YTZ) and Newark, New York (EWR) free
  • Free beer, wine and snacks onboard
  • Free lounge access with Wi-Fi

Flexible

  • Refundable within 24 hours of booking, up to 1 hour prior to departure
  • Carry-on included (1 standard + personal item)
  • Classic seat selection per direction free
  • Premium seat selection per direction $15 – $17.25
  • Premium PLUS seat selection per direction $20 – $23
  • Cancellations or changes for flights within Canada per direction, plus any fare difference $50 – $57.50
  • Cancellations or changes for flights to and from the SUnited States.per transaction, plus any fare difference $200 – $230
  • Cancellations or changes for VIPorter redemption flightsper direction, plus any fare difference $25 – $28.75
  • Same-day changes on day of departure free
  • Free beer, wine and snacks onboard
  • Free lounge access with Wi-Fi

Freedom

  • Refundable up to 1 hour prior to departure
  • Carry-on included(1 standard + personal item)
  • 2 Complimentary checked baggage included
  • Classic seat selection per direction free
  • Premium seat selection per direction free
  • Premium PLUS seat selection per direction $20 – $23
  • Cancellations or changes for flights within Canada or the US free
  • Free beer, wine and snacks onboard
  • Free lounge access with Wi-Fi

You can buy individual tickets or a Porter Pass available in 10, 20, 50 and 100 one-way flight booklets (cheaper than buying them as stand alone tickets). If you get more than 10 you can share with others.

Note: while a Porter Pass gets you tickets at a lower rate, you can frequently find even lower rates using promo codes and discounts.

VIPorter Points

VIPorter Points in Porters loyalty program: Points can be earned through qualifying travel on Porter flights,on the air package component of your Porter Escapes package (value assigned by Porter) along with any seat selection fees, checked baggage fees and other qualifying ancillary fees. Just enroll (free) and earn. The program has three tiers:

VIPorter

  • Qualifying spend per calendar year up to $1499
  • Earn on everything (except taxes) 5 points per $1
  • No points expiry if you fly within 24 months
  • Redeem with points or points and dollars

VIPorter passport

  • Qualifying spend per calendar year $1500-$2999
  • Earn on everything (except taxes) 6 points per $1
  • No points expiry if you fly within 24 months
  • Redeem with points or points and dollars
  • The inflight package (Priority check-in, Priority security lane, Priority boarding)
  • Premium Call Centre Service
  • Priority re-accommodation in case of flight delay

VIPorter priority

  • Qualifying spend per calendar year $3000 +
  • Earn on everything (except taxes) 7 points per $1
  • No points expiry if you fly within 24 months
  • Redeem with points or points and dollars
  • The inflight package (Priority check-in, Priority security lane, Priority boarding)
  • Premium Call Centre Service
  • Priority re-accommodation in case of flight delay
  • Free same-day changes on day of departure
  • Complimentary checked bag
  • Complimentary Premium seat selection

All of the premium tier benefits apply to the Premium Member and any companions travelling on the same reservation (excluding group bookings of 10 or more passengers).

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