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.