Well, I'm back home now and thought I would give a final review on the Porter Toronto-Moncton run.
Took the free
shuttle bus from the Royal York hotel to the ferry terminal to Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport. Took the free
ferry to the terminal building. Check in was a breeze and security screening was relaxed (compared to Pearson), but thorough.
Billy Bishop seems more like a bus terminal than an airport, but I mean that in a good way. The departure lounge is relatively small but comfortable, with many single chairs with endtables and lamps rather than the rows of benches that you see in most terminals. I decided to go to the coffee shop to get something to drink while I was waiting for my flight, and after picking up my coffee, I admit to being temporarily confused as I could not find the cashier to pay for my purchase, and then it slowly dawned on me that there was no cashier and that everything was again free
The flight back to Moncton again made a station stop in Ottawa. I was again surprised to see how much of the Moncton bound traffic was from Ottawa. On the way up, I figure that about 50% of the passengers got off in Ottawa. On the way back, about 75% of the passengers on the final leg of the journey got on the plane in Ottawa.
I've thought about why this might be, and I figure it has to do with capacity and choice. Between Air Canada, WestJet and Porter, there has to be about eight flights per day between Moncton and Toronto. There are only two flights a day to Ottawa (Air Canada and Porter). This would naturally boost numbers on the Moncton-Ottawa Porter run.
Final verdict on Porter Airlines:
- Boy, do these guys ever have a niche!!!
- Porter is an ideal choice if you can fly to Toronto on a relatively relaxed schedule, especially if your ultimate destination is downtown.
- Obviously if you need to make connections, Air Canada and Pearson would be a better choice, but it should be noted that Porter is beginning to fly to more and more destinations in the US northeast and midwest. These connections are through Billy Bishop and I imagine the atmosphere (for making connections and clearing customs) would be less zoo-like than at Pearson. i flew to Chicago in the Spring, and in retrospect, it might have been interesting to fly there via Porter from Moncton, with connections in Toronto.
be flying Porter again! The plane was 100% capacity on the way up and at least 90% capacity on the way back. I think the volume is there for some service expansion. I have heard that Porter is pleased with their Moncton run so far. It would be good to see a second daily flight out of Moncton each day. In my ideal world, I would want this to be a St. John's-Moncton-Toronto route. I'm convinced that this would also be a very successful route.