Hello everyone, UpgradeMe back again with another review. The other day I flew from Newark to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport with Porter Airlines. This is my comprehensive review.
I arrived at EWR Terminal B at 9:00 am for my 11:10am flight and first visited Art & Lounge, which is apart of the Priority Pass Lounge network. The membership is a free benefit of holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The lounge is before security at TSA, and is also contracted out to airlines such as La Compagnie, Norwegian, and El AL. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the food selection but it consisted of a basic breakfast spread including bagels, croissants, and juices. The lounge was quiet, offered wifi, and had a computer with a printer. Aside from the basic/limited offerings, the lounge provided a quiet space removed from the hectic terminal.
I left the lounge later then expected (around 12:15pm) as the flight was delayed until about 1:30pm. I had TSA Pre-Check on my boarding pass due to my global entry membership that included it, but found that there was no separate TSA Pre-Check Line at Concourse B2. After getting through the 10 minute line, the TSA ID Check employee recognized my TSA Pre Check status and handed me an orange slip which allowed me to keep my shoes on and go through the metal detector rather than the full body scanner. (This is informally known as Pre-Check Lite) After passing through TSA I headed to the gate to see if I could snap some pictures of planes taxiing by. Here are a few.
After being at the gate for a while, we were informed by Porter that the flight would be delayed further to 4pm, due to the fact that the inbound aircraft from YTZ hadn’t left yet. It was poor communication on Porter’s part because it was visible on FlightAware for about an hour that the aircraft had not left yet. This opened up an interesting opportunity for me to visit the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse which is only open for Priority Pass members from 2pm-6pm, the times where their passengers aren’t in the lounge.
The lounge had more limited offerings than during normal hours which is expected, but it was still fairly generous for a Priority Pass lounge. Here are some photos including the menu. I had the Mac and cheese :). Although the menu said wine and beer only there were some whiskeys available. Additionally, the lounge offered wifi, power outlets, and showers! The only downside were that there was no windows, akin to Art & Lounge. After hanging out in the lounge for a while, I headed back downstairs to the gate area, where my flight (PD126 to YTZ) was about to board. Boarding was split into 2 groups, pre boarding for PAX with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, families traveling with young children, VIPorter members, and then the second group with everyone else. There were two people scanning boarding passes although other passengers seemed to go to only one, so I was one of the first people on during general boarding. My carry-on was gate checked.
WOW, some cool pictures! :)
(Note: Bottom left picture is of an extra legroom seat)
That’s an odd place for a coat hook 🤔 (top left)
I was seated in 13B. Legroom was 32 inches which was nice, and the seats were comfortable. Drinks including beer, wine, soda, juice, and water were offered, along with chips and other snacks. There was no IFE other than the inflight magazine, titled re:porter.
You can get from the airport to the mainland by either ferry or tunnel, I opted for the tunnel.
The reason why I booked Porter in the first place was because of the convenience of YTZ to downtown Toronto. Customs took 5 minutes and Porter provided a free shuttle to Union Station, which happened to be right across the street from my hotel, the Fairmont Royal York. Overall, Porter definitely has friendly staff and comfortable seats, but I would avoid them in the summer months due to the unpredictable summer thunderstorms that can result in excessive delays (6 hours for me). Hopefully my return flight will be on time :)
Thanks for Reading!
If you enjoyed, be sure to check out my past reviews of Delta Airlines (JFK-KEF) and Brussels Airlines (JFK-BRU). Stay tuned for a review of a TBD TATL Carrier from NYC to Heathrow Airport in November.