Daybook · On Places & Travel

Daybook: Flying Porter Air from Toronto to New York

I’m sitting in the airport in Toronto’s downtown –actually, the airport is a little island just off of downtown –awaiting my flight back to Newark. (Wikipedia says this was at one time a baseball stadium, and at another point, an amusement park.)  Porter is the only commercial airline to fly out of Toronto City Centre Airport, and while it’s not a premium service,  it does have the we’ll-treat-you-like-a-human-being thing going on. The lounge that I’m sitting in is easily as nice as a business class lounge, and has complimentary lattes, tea, soft drinks and cookies, as well as free wifi. (All of which has been enjoyed the family Wellner as we’ve been stuck here for a little while!) The only standard biz class lounge amenities that are missing here are the booze and the showers.

Aboard, you sit in leather seats, drink free wine and beer, and eat nice-ish snacks (Terra chips, granola bars and so on–on par with Jet Blue). The ticket price was competitive with other coach fares from NYC to Toronto.The airline flies from Chicago and New York to Toronto, and from Toronto to various other cities in Canada.

The experience out of Toronto is much better than the Porter experience out of Newark, where you’re just sitting in a regular ol’ gate, dealing with the regular ol’ snotty-to-indifferent service at the ticket counter. I’m not sure how carriers that focus on style and service can avoid having the morass of NYC’s airports sully their brand–without investing in their own dedicated lounge.

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2 thoughts on “Daybook: Flying Porter Air from Toronto to New York

  1. Alison

    I read your blog this morning.

    I would like to give you another view about flying out of the Island Airport.

    The airport is Taxpayer subsidized beyond you wildest imagination.

    The Toronto Port Authority the Federal organization that runs the airport.
    According to the Canada Marine Act requires Port Authorities to operate without a deficit; the cumulative deficit of the TPA is about 32 million dollars.

    Federal Agencies do not pay property taxes but are supposed to pay “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILTs). The City of Toronto has not been paid a penny since the Port Authority was formed. The City is claiming it is owed over 36 million in unpaid PILTs.

    The Port Authority sued the City for over a billion dollars and accepted a settlement of over 48 million.

    When the bridge to the Island Airport was blocked by the City, the Federal government paid out 35 million for a bridge that was only supposed to cost
    22 million. Porter got 20 million because they couldn’t start an airline without a bridge. Porter used that money to start their airline.

    The total for this airport is over 154 million dollars of subsidy.
    The so-called Sponsorship Scandal that caused the fall of the Paul Martin government was only 100 million dollars

    The only reason that Porter exists is because they and the Port Authority are subsidized by the taxpayer. Your wonderful experience is only do to a major taxpayer rip-off.

    There is an legal agreement called the Tripartite Agreement between the City of Toronto, the Federal Government, and the Port Authority that governs the operations of the airport. It covers such things as the amount of noise that is allowed and the hours of operation of the airport.
    The noise generated by the Q-400 on landing and take off exceeds the allowable limit in Tripartite Agreement. The agreement calls for a $5,000.00 dollar fine in constant 1981 dollars which equals $ 11,410 in 2008, for each breech on take off and landing at this airport. If the Tripartite Agreement was enforced the Q-400 would be banned from the airport.

    Porter and other air operators break the 11 P.M. curfew as well.

    If you come to Harbourfront or the Music Garden this coming summer you will notice the noise interruptions of concerts and conversations.

    There also is the question of the added air pollution from both the aircraft and the extra car traffic in the area. There are 2 schools and a day-care centre within 500 meters of the runway.

    The Airport takes up one quarter of the area of the Toronto Islands. There are now over ten thousand more residents in the Waterfront area than there were
    10 years ago. These people need access to park an recreational areas close to home. Opening the Airport lands to park usage would solve this problem.

    If you would like to find out more about the Island Airport you could go to the Community Air website http://www.communityair.org/.
    Or you could watch this Powerpoint on the airport http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsDLSpawyrU

    Barry Lipton

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