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MDW-YTZ-YUL-YTZ-MDW On Porter (Pictures)  
User currently offlineSouthwestMDW From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 303 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8273 times:

It's been a while since I've posted anything here, but I haven't been traveling much. A few months ago, I decided to meet up with some of my family up in Montreal, and found that the cheapest option was flying via Toronto City Centre on Porter through Midway. I've heard great things about their service, their facilities in Toronto, and I've never gone through Customs at Chicago Midway, so things were working in this favor. But since it was the cheapest fare, I booked the tickets. I don’t travel as much as I like, and I tend to stick to whatever is cheapest, so I’m not terribly loyal to any particular airlines, nor do I have status anywhere. Regardless, I was excited to fly on Porter, since it would be a different experience for me.

I live just over an hour west of Midway, so I left my house a little before 7:00am for the flight at 10:00am. They recently built a large parking garage in the Economy lots - and it’s no difference in price to park in it. It was nice and clean, but more importantly, I would not have to clear snow off my car when I returned. A free shuttle bus took me over to the terminal. The check in desks are located far to the right, near AirTran, Porter, and Volaris. There was a huge line-up for Southwest, but the otherside was empty except for Porter and a Delta Connection flight.

Check-in was super easy, and the agent was very friendly. Porter uses nice Apple computers with large screens. My bags were tagged through to Montreal, and they put a big “In Transit” thing on there. Got both boarding passes and headed to security, which took about fifteen minutes. Walked around the concourse for a while before it was time to board, which took place at Gate A3.

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27 December 2010
Porter Airlines flight PD 384
Chicago Midway (MDW) - Toronto City Centre (YTZ)
STD: 10:00
ATD: 10:10
STA: 12:35
ATA: 12:26
Bombardier Q400

Boarded the aircraft about 20 minutes prior to takeoff, and was greeted by a very friendly flight attendant. The plane was spotless and had smart grey leather seats that all had the seat belts crossed nicely. There was some light music playing during boarding, but I did notice that the plane was very cold. Canadian Customs forms were distributed and a recorded safety demonstration was played in both English and French, and we took off about ten minutes late behind a group of Southwest 737’s.

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Climb was really fast, and less than 10 minutes after a recording told us we could use electronic devices. The flight attendants both started their service immediately, and they were super friendly and also efficient. They had complimentary beer and wine available, and all their drinks were served in actual glasses. Complimentary snack boxes were given out that had a sandwich, potato salad, and a chocolate inside. Perfect for a flight that was just over an hour long. Flight attendants made a few more rounds to make sure everybody was well taken care of, and collected all the trash on nice silver trays instead of bringing the carts around again. The seat belt sign was off for most of the flight and it was nice and smooth. We started our decent about 55 minutes after we took off.

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We flew out over the lake just past Toronto, and the city was on our left side. Our decent got closer and closer to the water, and we made a steep turn so that Downtown Toronto was on the right side. We got lower and lower over the water, and suddenly touched down and stopped very hard. Pulled up to the gate and was off the plane not even 5 minutes later.

Cleared Canadian Customs pretty quick, and my suitcase was waiting for me on the baggage claim. I went into the main terminal and rechecked the bag and headed to the Canadian Departures side of the lounge. Went through security again and went down into the lounge.

The lounge was really nice, lots of big, open seats around the terminal. There were coolers with complimentary soft drinks, juice, and water stocked inside, and a coffee machine that made nice espressos. They even had heated mugs! They had free cookies and almonds for passengers too. The lounge also has free wi-fi, a great way to spend a layover.

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Boarding for our flight to Montreal/Halifax was called, and we exited the lounge and down a hallway to the aircraft. Same nice grey interior and friendly crew. It was very very cold inside this plane as well, but this was because we had to walk on the tarmac and the door was open. The flight attendants were very well dressed with nice uniforms and were wearing thick coats during boarding, so this was probably a normal thing.



27 December 2010
Porter Airlines flight PD 409
Toronto City Centre (YTZ) - Montreal Trudeau (YUL)
STD: 14:30
ATD: 14:35
STA: 15:40
ATD: 15:38
Bombardier Q400

The cabin door was closed and the heat was turned up, which was nice. The same safety recording was played. We pushed back and taxied to the end of the runway, and we airborne over Toronto about five minutes after pushing back.



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Oh my.
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The fasten seat belt sign was turned off pretty quick, and the same drinks were offered in glasses. The other flight attendant walked around with a nice basket of chips, cookies, and almonds. The flight was just over an hour long and was pretty smooth and routine. We landed two minutes ahead of schedule in Montreal.


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By the time I made it to the baggage claim, my suitcase and the other ones were sitting on the ground standing up, with the handles up waiting for us next to the conveyor. Met up with family and went Downtown to take the VIA Rail to Quebec City where I stayed for a few days, and returned to Montreal for New Years.

I forgot to bring my camera charger, so I don't have many pictures to say about the return. The flights were all uneventful, and I had about four hours between my flights in Toronto, so I took the ferry to the complimentary Porter shuttle to the Royal York Hotel. Had a long lunch with a friend, and she took me back to the ferry terminal. Both flights had the same snack boxes and drinks served. Arrived about 30 minutes before departure to Chicago, but our flight was delayed 40 minutes because it left Midway late.

Arrived in Midway about an hour late, and there were only two agents working in customs. Overall, Porter was great! I was very impressed with their service and all the complimentary services that they offer. Midway's Customs area was fine, but could use a few more people on staff. Would fly Porter again, no question!

Thanks for reading!
Pat

Next flights:
ORD-YUL-FRA-BCN-FRA-YYZ-ORD on AC/LH
BCN-DUB-BCN on Ryanair

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7498 times:

Very nice report. Porter seems like a very different airline experience than the main carriers in North America. I think I have to try them the next time I'm over.

How was your experience aboard the Q400? You normally hear very different opinions on noise level and vibrations.


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1939 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7418 times:
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Very nice coverage on Porter! This is definitely an airline I want to try ... they sound really nice! Love the actual glasses on all flights .. very classy.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineSouthwestMDW From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 303 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6565 times:

Thanks for the comments, guys!

@PhilInBRN: I really liked the Q400. The only prop aircraft I've been on before this was a Saab 340B, and the Q400 did seem a lot quieter. I had seats right next to the engines for the first 3 legs, so there was a fair amount of noise and vibration but it actually was not too bad. On the YTZ-MDW flight I was in the second-to-last row and it was pretty quiet.

Pat


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6442 times:

Nice trip report, The DH8 sure does look comfortable.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineMexicana757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3042 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6128 times:

Nice trip report you wrote! Good pictures as well. Good to see a TR on Porter's MDW-YTZ service. I'm thinking of flying with them to YTZ sometime this year and your TR just gives me more of a reason to do it.

Quoting SouthwestMDW (Thread starter):
Midway's Customs area was fine, but could use a few more people on staff. Would fly Porter again, no question!

I have not been through the customs at MDW and like to see the area myself. I wonder now that Volaris has started flying into MDW if they have more customs officers around mid day.

What was the load factor on the MDW inbound and outbound flights?


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