Porter Airlines

The mascot for Porter Airlines is a cheeky raccoon named Mr. Porter who looks like he’s got a secret. It’s a good one: you no longer have to suffer Air Canada or Pearson International Airport to fly between Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal.

Porter flies out of the Toronto City Centre Airport downtown. That means no more frustrating traffic jams getting to Pearson, long security lineups at the airport or getting elbowed by fanny-packed tourists.

From the sharp navy blue uniforms designed by Canadian fashion line Pink Tartan to onflight drinks served in real glasses, Porter re-creates an era when flying was a luxury and not a pain in the ass.

Porter Airlines

A cute ferry makes the 30-second trip from the heart of downtown Toronto to the island airport. I see mostly business travellers, which means the check-in line moves efficiently.

Porter’s swish lounge looks like the lobby of a boutique hotel. There’s a fridge of complimentary water – that raccoon’s looking at me from the label – juice and pop as well as an espresso machine. A few people are using the computer workstations and I take advantage of Porter’s free wireless Internet.

The Bombardier Q400 is pretty swish too with leather seats and a tad more legroom than economy flights. No TVs but the flight is less than an hour. Wine and beer are free. All staff are pleasant and professional. I feel pretty darn special.

I’d definitely fly Porter again. With me, a little service and attention to detail go a long way – unlike another airline I know.