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Calgary Alberta Canada, September 17 2023: Porter Airlines aircraft taxiing beside a take off runway at Calgary International Airport
Ramon Cliff | Adobe Stock

Porter Airlines PorterClassic Standard Flight Review

Porter is a Canadian-owned budget airline based out of Billy Bishop Toronto Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport. Launched in 2006, Porter operates flights connecting cities across Canada and the larger North American continent and select overseas and tropical destinations. 

The stripped back amenities and baggage policies on Porter’s short-haul North American itineraries can result in big savings. However, are the fares worth it? We flew PorterClassic Standard from Boston to Toronto to find out.


Round Trip flights from Boston to the closest Canadian city, Montreal, start as low as $165 in PorterClassic Basic. PorterClassic Standard, the next highest fare, is roughly $20 more, and it includes free advanced and same-day changes as well as a carry-on bag. 

While specific routes appear searchable on the site, tickets are not always available. For example, a roundtrip flight from Dallas, Fort Worth, to Toronto or Montreal in mid-July returned no options or sold out options. 

I paid $141.75 for a one-way flight from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Toronto Billy Bishop (YTZ), which breaks down to $118 for the ticket and baggage and $23.75 in “taxes, fees, and charges.”

Find a breakdown of PorterClassic fare classes and what’s included in the price directly on the Porter website.

Aircraft and Seats


Porter operates short-haul North American flights on De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 turboprop aircraft. Turboprop aircraft are powered by a combination of gas-turbine engines and propellers and have a typical flight range of up to 1,500 miles (roughly the distance from Toronto to Texas), suitable for connecting Canadian cities and cities in the northern United States. Turboprop planes have lower operating costs than their jet engine cousins, which can then pass on the savings to the customer. 

Flying on this type of aircraft felt different from a standard flight. Takeoff felt rougher, turbulence was more present throughout the duration, and the engines were louder than I expected. It’s worth noting that the plane I flew on was not equipped with oxygen masks—not required of flights operated below 35,000 feet—but did include all other standard safety features like life vests and emergency exits.

For long-haul international flights, Porter flies Embraer E195-E2 jets. 


The De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 has 78 seats with 30 inches of legroom. There are no middle seats, so seat selection is not a huge worry unless you’re very committed to snagging an aisle or a window spot. The seats themselves are barebones, with metal legs and minimal cushioning. A seat cushion is a nice-to-have on any flight, but a definite must-pack here.

Seat on the De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400
Carol McPherson

The Embraer E195-E2 jets feature 131 seats—16 PorterReserve, 20 PorterClassic Stretch, and 96 PorterClassic seats—with 36 inches, 34 inches, and 30 inches of legroom, respectively. 

Food and Drink

Passengers at all class levels must pay an additional fee for in-flight meals, available on flights of 2.5 hours or more operated on Embraer E195-E2 jets. Options vary, but sample menus on Porter’s site include meals such as salmon poke, ham and brie croissants, and chia seed smoothie bowls. 

Snacks are available on all flights. Its free beer and wine service, which sets Porter apart from competitors, is available for all fares across all aircraft. 


Passengers flying on Embraer E195-E2 jets can access in-flight entertainment, including movies and television, and complimentary wi-fi. 


PorterClassic Basic allows one personal item not to exceed 13x17x6 inches. Fliers in this fare class are not allowed a carry-on bag and are not permitted to use a digital boarding pass, with the exception of VIPorter Venture, Ascent, or First members or passengers on a codeshare flight. Travelers flying Basic can check-in online but must pick up a physical boarding pass once at the airport. 

Male is carrying luggage in hall before trip
Yakobchuk Olena | Adobe Stock

PorterClassic Standard and Flexible Flier receive one free carry-on in addition to their personal item and access to digital boarding passes. Passengers flying PorterClassic Freedom have all previous privileges plus two complimentary checked bags.

Is it Worth the Money?

If you are a savvy traveler and a light packer willing to trade some basic comforts for a better price tag, Porter definitely has deals worth your while. However, even for those just traveling out of a carry-on, there are comparable deals on other carriers that would suit your needs equally well. I’d recommend doing some comparison shopping to ensure you’re getting the best deal paired with the best experience. 

Ideal For: Light packers looking to score a great deal.
Less Suited For: Travelers who plan to check luggage and prefer more in-flight amenities.

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