The airline with the best average rating is Porter Airlines with 7.6/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 23 minutes.More information
After a quick business trip to New York, it was finally time to return home. My outbound flight was on Delta out of Pearson so I had never actually flown on Porter before. I was very excited to give it a try and see what all the hype was about. To start off my journey back, I began the commute to Newark. As a non New Yorker, I was very surprised at how far Newark actually is from Manhattan. The commute time really does make a difference and offsets any time savings from using YTZ instead of YYZ.
Although I only had carry on baggage, I didn't have time beforehand to do online check in. The check in counter had only two staff members present. One of them did not appear to be very pleasant and spent the majority of her time on the radio dealing with an issue, leaving only one agent available to do check ins. The line started piling up, but eventually I got through with no issues. Finding the gate/security entrance points were easy. In my opinion, the best food can be found right outside security. I will touch on the post security food options later.
Security didn't have too much of a line and I was able to get by quickly.
The airport post security was quite a disappointment. It was my first time going through EWR and honestly, it is no where near the quality of JFK. The duty free selection was unimpressive. The food options were extremely limited with two bars and two stores selling snacks and water along with some premade food. With the flight so close to the dinner hour, I had no choice but to try one of the bars. The service was quite stranger with a seat yourself format. After seating myself, the server was quick to come and take my order. The food was disappointing for the price level and the cutlery given was filthy. They also used an extremely outdated credit card system where I had to sign a reciept and have the server take my card to the desk - is it still 2003??
Moving along, the flight was unfortunately delayed from 6:25 to 6:55 due to a late incoming plane. With the delays, I was able to spend some time plane spotting. The views were quite good from the bar but an application to the window made it difficult to take photos.
Hard to see the details but that's La Compagnie's single a321 neo departing for Paris-Orly. Not much action at this hour but other planes spotted include Lufthansa's 747-8 departing for Frankfurt and Aer Lingus' a330 departing for Dublin.
Before our flight, there were quite a few transatlantic departures. Terminal B is definitely not ideal for the large volume of widebody flights leaving at this hour. Passengers were all over the place lining up for the EI flight to Dublin and the BA flight to Heathrow. Thankfully, when I reach the terminal, passengers for the LH flight to Frankfurt were already boarded. I don't even want to imagine what an entire 747 load of passengers would look like in this small terminal.
After all the transatlantic flights left, the terminal quieted down with only the delayed Porter passengers left.
Boarding was a very quick process that began at 6:50. I am still amazed by the people that are able to get a suitcase onboard and shove it into the small overhead bins. Everyone moved quickly and the row based boarding was generally respected. My carry on had to be gate checked so one of the gate agents took it from me right before I got on.
After boarding, we spent about another 20 minutes holding at the gate followed by another 40 in line until takeoff. The captain was very helpful, informing us of the construction causing delays and the position we were in line for takeoff. Staying on the ground, you can see the delay visually by comparing the first photo from pushback to the last taken before takeoff when the sun had almost set.
It was just after 8 pm when we finally took off.
After takeoff, the crew began distributing the landing cards for customs in Canada. Half an hour later, the crew began their snack service. I really admire Porter for using glasses instead of plastic, it really adds to the ambiance. Passengers were offered their choice of soft drinks, juices, wines, and beers alongside a choice of almonds, chips, and cookies. I went for some apple juice and chips. The chips bag had inflated from the pressure, making it quite difficult to open. The crew were very friendly and made sure to push the cart to the front if anyone needed to pass or use the lavatory during the snack service.
The lavatory was decently sized for a regional aircraft but the sink was out of order.
Landing was very scenic as we passed over the golden horseshoe region. We touched down around 9:15pm. Turboprop aircraft do vibrate alot so it was difficult taking pictures on landing, so most are blurry.
Upon arrival at the gate, there was staff to inform passengers that customs needed to see the gate checked bags so they would be made available with general checked baggage at the carousels. The automated border clearance kiosks were all closed but the officers dealt with everyone quite quickly. My gate checked luggage was among the first bags off the plane. After exiting, it was just a trip down the tunnel and I was back in Toronto.
It is worth noting that YTZ has a curfew beginning at 11pm. Folks flying on any later PD departures face the risk of being diverted to YHM if their flight cannot land before 11.
Overall, I think that Porter did a great job on this flight. I think they would have a real winner if they could depart from LGA or JFK. Given Newarks location and limited food offerings, I am not sure whether I would take this flight again if travelling to New York. I will still however recommend Porter for flights within Canada.