Friday, January 21, 2011

It truly was flying, refined....

Hubby and I just got back from a brief but very fun trip to Manhattan.   Hubby won a trip for 2 to NYC for 1 night, with tickets to go and see the New York Rangers play the Toronto Maple Leafs - it was such a great surprise!  He registered online to be an AM 640 Insider, and I believe that means he gets his name put into all the contests they have - and low and behold, he got a call to say he had won this trip!  It was all very fast, we had to book 2 days off work (which hubby didn't really manage to do - he had to work a lot while we were away), get childcare lined up, and off we went!  A whirlwind 30 hour trip to NYC!
I will have a few posts about our trip, but first I wanted to talk about our flight - because it really is worth mentioning. 

We left very early in the morning to catch our flight on Porter  - which flies out of Toronto Island Airport.  I have never flown on Porter, nor have I ever flown out of that airport, so I was a bit apprehensive about all the logistics.   You see, we live in the west end, and getting to Pearson International airport is quite easy - we take a cab, or have my parents drive us, it takes 20 minutes.  But getting to the island airport during rush hour meant taking the transit system.  So we had to drive to the GO Train, take the GO Train, grab the free airport shuttle at union station, then get on a ferry to get to the island airport, so that we could catch our flight.  That's right, 5 modes of transportation...... I was a bit stressed about us making all of our connections and whatnot - there were 5 distinct opportunities for things to go wrong and delay us catching our flight....but it all went very smoothly!  We made every connection seamlessly without waiting, but there was a lot of running around.

Now, my friends make endless fun of me because I used to insist on travelling business class wherever I went.  I hate the way the passengers in economy are treated like cattle - in fact, I call economy class, "cattle class" - because that is how the big airlines treat you.  But since having children, and not having the elite status on the airline which allowed me to frequently upgrade, I have been relegated to "cattle class" - and since then, I hate flying.  Porter's motto is, "this is flying, refined." And they mean it - it was so civilized!  A real throwback to the day when taking a flight was an event, not the stress filled uncomfortable, evil necessity it is today. There was no business class, they treated everyone like they were in business class.

The little snack we got on our flight came in this cute little box.  Notice the real glass..... so civilized!

I can't say enough nice things about Porter - seriously, that is what air travel should be like.  They were so nice and helpful and the lines were short (since we got there early, they put us on an earlier flight - and we didn't even have to ask!).  While you wait for your plane, you have comfortable lounge with free hot and cold beverages and snacks (much like the frequent flyer elite lounges at other airports, minus the alcohol).  Once you are on the plane, they actually give you a small meal.  Not a bag of pretzels, but a nice little meal, with a drink (served in a real glass, you know, the breakable kind). On the way there we had organic fruit yogurt and a muffin, along with tea or coffee.  It was fabulous!   For us though, getting to the airport during rush hour was a bit too much effort, and our proximity to Pearson means we will likely fly out of there in the future (I'd better start learning how to moo).  But I would highly recommend Porter Airlines, especially if you live in the central core of Toronto, or in the east end. If I ever have a flight that doesn't coincide with rush hour, I will definitely fly Porter.
The only other downside is that they are prop planes, not jets - so the ride is rather loud.....but that's ok - you can enjoy your book or newspaper instead of talking to the person next to you!  Since I will likely be stuck flying on other airlines, I can only hope that Porter's excellent service raises the bar for the entire industry....... a girl can dream.....mooooooooooooo.

I look forward to telling you about the rest of our trip.

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