Porter Airlines Makes Coach a Lot Classier

Porter Airlines brings luxury to the back row
The Bombardier Q400 aircraft ("q" for "quiet") features a noise- and vibration-suppression system Photograph by Mark Blinch/Landov

With a philosophy centered on convenience, impeccable service, and luxury amenities, Canada’s Porter Airlines has become the carrier for fliers seeking a business-class experience at a coach-class price—if you’re traveling in the northern part of the continent. The six-year-old company flies to many Canadian and a handful of American destinations, including New York, Chicago, and Burlington, Vt. Porter’s headquarters are at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on a small island directly across from the bustle of downtown. To check in, customers take a short ferry ride.

Porter’s modern lounge offers plush seating, Wi-Fi, a business center outfitted with iMac workstations, and treats including international newspapers, Starbucks coffee, and chocolate-dipped biscotti—all free. The pampering continues onboard with comfortable two-by-two leather seats—no one gets stuck in the middle—and complimentary small sandwiches, yogurt, and wine. Well-fed passengers kick back with the airline’s clever in-flight magazine, re:porter. It’s a cousin of Monocle, whose editor-in-chief, Tyler Brûlé, is also the chairman and CEO of London’s Winkreative, the company behind Porter’s branding experience. Each issue features neighborhood guides with tips from the locals.

Photograph by Chris Young/Canadian Press Images

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