Porter Airlines over at Billy Bishop has become one of Toronto's favourite ways to fly ever since they touched down in 2010. From their cheap flights to their conveniently small airport, all while helping Porter users fly in style, it's no surprise that many city-goers have opted to use the cheaper airline instead of trekking to Pearson. Though according to customers, certain issues with the airline have raised serious concerns about how Porter does business.
It all started when a Reddit discussion was initiated by user Sybilinsane, who asked users on the forum if it was a coincidence that he's had several of his Porter flights cancelled, which were allegedly only half sold.
The simple question prompted other Reddit users and Porter flyers to speak up, claiming that they too have seen their flights cancelled for what seemed like no reason.
One user named Torontojimbo spoke up about their experience trying to catch a flight to Timmins. The user claims that earlier flights to Timmins throughout the day had been cancelled and happened to only be around 25% full. The passengers on the cancelled flights were then rebooked on the last flight of the day, several hours later, on an aircraft that ended up being 75% full. Proposing that maybe Porter would rather "just fly 1 flight at 75% [rather] than 3 at 25%."
There has been a mixture of proposed reasons from other Reddit users about the questionable delays, such as a lack of crew due to pilots and airline workers wanting to work for bigger airlines. One user by the name of Ywglyer noted that:
"Porter is having big trouble crewing their flights -- AC and Westjet are both hiring big time, and pilots aren't going to stick around flying Dash-8s between Toronto and Ottawa forever when they could be in the left seat of a 737 at AC within 4 years making double what Porter pays to fly to the UK. Many of Porter's random cancellations are because they haven't got the pilots."
Another user also mentioned that if concerned fliers keep having their late night return flights cancelled, it may have to do with Billy Bishop airport's rules. It turns out that because the airport is in what's considered a residential area, they can't land planes after 11 PM. Meaning the next time you book a flight, try to catch the earliest flight possible, just to be safe.
Regardless of what's really going on at Porter, it's clear the airline can be unreliable at times, resulting in Torontonians feeling like the drive to Pearson is worth it if it means their flight goes to plan. So, the next time you book, you may want to think carefully about which flight you choose!
UPDATE: Porter Airline reached out to Narcity with the following statement:
“There has long been a perception among some passengers that airlines regularly cancel flights based on the number of people booked. When cancellations are necessary for any reason, we do our best to contain the delay to as few flights and passengers as possible. For example, if a flight is cancelled and we are able to have people travel within the next two hours, we will prioritize this option versus delays that cause people to wait longer.”