TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2020 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines released its 2020 schedule for Stephenville, N.L., with round-trip flights operating between Halifax, beginning June 6, through September 26, 2020. Flights operate up to twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday.
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Long Range Mountains, Stephenville boasts rich maritime history, and breathtaking coastline views. From trekking through forests and braving the sea by boat, to town tours and guided wildlife excursions, Newfoundland’s west coast is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Flights also connect with Ottawa and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the same aircraft. Other destinations in the Porter network are accessible from these points.
Flights are currently available for booking on Porter’s website and through travel agents. Complete schedule information is available at www.flyporter.com.
TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2020 /CNW/ – Just in time for spring break, Porter Airlines is resuming seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, beginning March 4. Flights operate twice weekly until May 17, 2020, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Porter offers the only non-stop flights from Canada.
In just 2.5 hours, travellers are transported to Myrtle Beach, where the weather is as warm as its southern hospitality. Boasting miles of beautiful coastline, stunning sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean, and an abundance of attractions, Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination for the entire family.
Myrtle Beach is also an elite golf destination offering more than 100 courses in the area to challenge all skill levels. Local courses are known for their playability and being impeccably maintained.
Porter Escapes offers inclusive packages for flights, accommodations and activities.
Connecting flights are available via Toronto from numerous Porter destinations. Complete schedule details are available at www.flyporter.com.
TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2019 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines resumes seasonal service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Mont-Tremblant International Airport on Dec. 6. Flights are available until March 30, 2020, with service up to four times weekly.
Reconnect with the joys of winter in Mont-Tremblant, Que., in as little as 70 minutes from downtown Toronto. Connecting flights are also available from numerous Porter locations in Canada and the U.S.
Located in the heart of the Laurentians, Mont-Tremblant is home to some of the country’s best winter attractions. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, winter in Tremblant offers an array of exhilarating outdoor activities such as dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. For those seeking a more relaxed pace, enjoy the serenity of a spa retreat, and dine or shop in the charming pedestrian village.
Mont Tremblant International Airport (MTIA) is offering Porter passengers a special promotion on lift tickets this ski season. Passengers receive two free weekday ski lift tickets when they arrive on a Sunday or Monday and depart on a Thursday or Friday. For full details, visit www.mtia.ca
TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines is brewing new relationships with local Ontario brands Balzac’s Coffee Roasters and Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. Beginning Dec. 1, Porter is serving a Balzac’s dark roast blend and an assortment of artisan Sloane teas across its network as part of its renowned complimentary in-flight service. These airline partnerships give passengers the ability to taste some of the best coffee and tea Canada has to offer.
Porter, Balzac’s and Sloane are the perfect blend of partners. Each has its roots in Ontario and successfully built loyal followings by providing premium products and customer-first experiences. Balzac’s and Sloane are iconic beverage brands with esteemed reputations for their commitment to quality. Coffee and tea are staples of the Porter experience, with approximately 1.2 million cups served onboard every year. Hot beverages will be provided in a custom Balzac’s cup featuring Mr. Porter, the airline’s cheeky graphic raccoon brand mascot.
“Balzac’s and Sloane are well-loved independent brands producing superior products that pair perfectly with Porter’s distinct guest experience,” said Kevin Jackson, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Porter Airlines. “Both companies consider the smallest details, ensuring that our passengers always have the highest-quality hot beverages to choose from.”
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters roasts the finest selection of Arabica beans in small batches at their state-of-the-art roasting facility in Ancaster, Ontario, and serves some of Canada’s best coffee. Onboard, passengers will enjoy a full-bodied dark roast blend named A Dark Affair, boasting a rich and vibrant taste with notes of dark chocolate and roasted almond.
“It is an honour to be named the official coffee supplier of Porter Airlines,” said Diana Olsen, president and founder, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters. “Since the beginning, Balzac’s has been dedicated to connecting people through great coffee across Ontario. Our team looks forward to this new journey connecting travellers near and far while contributing to Porter’s stellar reputation for offering one of the best flight experiences in the world.”
Sloane Fine Tea Merchants focuses on enhancing the nuances of each of their teas, which are 100 percent blended and packaged in Canada. Passengers may choose from a range of caffeinated and caffeine-free artisan teas onboard. Available flavours are Classic Black, Earl Grey, Classic Green, Calming Chamomile and Mint Medley.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the onboard guest experience for Porter Airlines,” said Hoda Paripoush, founder & creative director, Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. “What started out as a personal journey has transformed into a calling. Our family of tea farmers is our strength and we consider Sloane Tea a platform where we give voice to the story of each tea.”
News provided by CBC News – Link to full story and updates
Transgender activist says it’s time for all airlines to revise their gender categories
Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Oct 20, 2019
In an effort to be more inclusive, Air Canada plans to drop gender references when welcoming passengers. That means no more onboard announcements opening with, “Ladies and gentlemen.”
The move follows a growing awareness and acceptance — including in the travel industry — that some individuals are non-binary, meaning they don’t identify as male or female.
However, Air Canada — along with most other airlines — still requires passengers to designate themselves as female or male when booking flights, something activists say needs to change.
“That just feels dishonest and also disrespectful that we’re forced to have to pick an identity that we don’t identify with,” said Gemma Hickey, a transgender activist in St. John’s who identifies as non-binary.
A few carriers, including Canada’s Porter Airlines, have added a gender-neutral booking option. Many others, including Air Canada, have pledged to do it. Hickey said Air Canada’s plan to revise its greeting is a good first step.
According to an employee memo issued last month, Air Canada said it will soon switch to the gender-free term “everyone” when greeting passengers.
“We want to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify as gender X,” said the memo.
Since June, the federal government has allowed people who don’t identify as female or male to have an X printed on their passport, travel document, citizenship certificate or permanent resident card.
Most provinces now also offer the X gender option for government-issued ID cards such as driver’s licences.
Hickey was one of the first Canadians to get a passport with an X. But typically when booking a flight, that option still doesn’t exist.
“I’m not sure what the holdup is,” said Hickey, who emailed Canada’s major airlines in June 2018, lobbying for a non-binary gender category. “It doesn’t feel like I’m being respected as a person.”
However, Hickey had a positive experience recently when booking a flight with Porter. The airline adopted the X option, along with a gender-neutral onboard greeting, in the summer of 2018.
“It made me feel great to be able to choose [X] on an airline,” said Hickey.
Porter made the change “to better reflect the preferences of travellers” and to stay in step with gender categories offered on government documents, said spokesperson Brad Cicero in an email.
In March, U.S. airline United added the X, plus a U option, which stands for “undisclosed” gender.
“We are so proud to be the first U.S. airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers,” said United’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist in a statement.
In June, Air Italy became the first European airline to include the X gender category.
Back in Canada, WestJet says it’s making the necessary changes to its system to offer the X option.
The airline said that “due to the complexity of changes required,” it anticipates the category won’t be available until 2020.
WestJet is also re-evaluating its onboard greeting which refers to passengers as “ladies and gentlemen.”
“We are continuously assessing and evolving our practice and policies to maximize inclusiveness,” said spokesperson Morgan Bell in an email.
Air Canada didn’t respond to requests for comment. In February, it told The Canadian Press that it was looking into whether other governments and airline partners would recognize the X designation for international travellers.
“We are actively working on this, and we do intend to eventually offer a non-binary option to our customers,” said spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.
Will other countries accept an X passport?
On its website, the federal government warns there are no guarantees that when people travel, the countries they visit will accept an X gender identifier on their passport.
Hickey, who uses the pronoun “they,” said that, travelling with a passport marked with an X, they have visited four European countries plus Japan with no hassles.
In fact, Hickey said the gender designation actually helps cut the confusion when travelling, caused by appearing masculine but having a feminine-sounding first name, Gemma.
“My identity isn’t called into question anymore,” said Hickey. “People don’t ask me any questions about that because the X explains my name as well as how I present.”
Not all transgender activists are campaigning for an X option. Fran Forsberg of Saskatoon has two transgender children and wishes people could buy a plane ticket or get a passport without having to indicate a gender.
“It’s nobody’s business, and it’s irrelevant,” said Forsberg, who was recently involved in a court challenge which forced Saskatchewan to allow people of all ages to remove the gender on their birth certificates.
“I wished they just abolished [gender markers] altogether,” she said.
Lukácssays the announcement of the fines is nothing more than “smoke and mirrors,” strategically timed to try to convince Canadians that the current government cares about passenger right before the federal election.
The rule that the airlines violated was one that states airlines must display a notice at the check-in desk, self-service kiosks and departure gate that passengers who are denied boarding or whose luggage is lost or damaged may be entitled to compensation.
The regulator says airlines failed to alert travellers to their rights ahead of several flights out of Halifax, Quebec City, Calgary and Edmonton between July 22 and Aug. 7.
New rules came into effect July 15 beefing up compensation for passengers whose flights were delayed or luggage damaged, which have been met with criticism from both the industry and consumer advocates.
Under the new rules, airlines will now have to provide compensation — up to a maximum of $2,400 — to anyone bumped from a flight. Changes also mean airlines will have to compensate passengers if their flight is severely delayed, if their luggage is lost, or if flights are overbooked, as long as the situation is within the company’s control.
Ryan Flanagan, CTVNews.ca Writer Thursday, September 5, 2019
Four major Canadian airlines have been fined for not complying with the new passenger protections that came into effect earlier this summer.
The Canadian Transportation Agency says Air Canada, WestJet, Porter Airlines and Air Transat have all been penalized since the rules changed on July 15.
In all cases, the airlines were found to have failed to display required notices to passengers. Airlines are required to display information about passenger rights at check-in counters, self-service check-in machines and boarding gates.
WestJet was fined $17,500 for seven violations, Air Canada was fined $12,500 for three, and Air Transat and Porter Airlines were each fined $7,500 for three violations apiece.
The new regulations hold airlines to a higher standard of treatment for passengers during tarmac delays, including requiring them to allow passengers to deplane if they have spent three hours waiting to take off and a take-off is not imminent. Airlines are also now required to have clear policies explaining how they handle luggage containing musical instruments.
The Canadian Transportation Agency has not taken any other disciplinary action against airlines since the new regulations came into effect.
Another round of passenger rights protections will take effect in December. At that point, airlines will be required to compensate passengers for any delays or cancellations within the airline’s control, as well as rebook or refund passengers whose flights are delayed – even if that means they have to buy them a ticket for a competing airline.
Air passenger advocates have argued that this will do little to help passengers. They note that a broad array of issues ranging from airport problems to medical emergencies to weather conditions can be cited for delays without the compensation requirement being triggered.
A spokesperson for Porter Airlines told CTVNews.ca that the company corrected the “minor communication issues” as soon as they were notified of the fines.
“Porter has dedicated significant resources to implementing the regulations on very short notice and we are making every effort to comply with the rules,” the spokesperson said.
A group of 17 airlines, including Air Canada and Porter, has filed a legal challenge against the regulations, arguing that the Canadian Transportation Authority does not have the power to implement them. The Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the appeal.
02 August, 2019, FlightGlobal.com by Jon Hemmerdinger, Boston
Porter Airlines is replacing door seals on De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 turboprops following a rapid cabin decompression on 17 July, the Toronto-based airline says.
The cause of that decompression differs from a cargo door handle issue that has caused inflight depressurisations of several other Dash 8-400s recently, Porter adds.
The July depressurisation involved a Porter Q400 headed from Toronto to Boston. After the cabin lost altitude, the pilots descended to 10,000ft, determined the aircraft had no structural damage and continued to Boston, where they landed safely, according to an incident report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
An inspection determined the aircraft’s “aft baggage blowout panel was loose”, the report says.
“This situation related to an imperfection in the door seal, which caused the panel to move,” Porter tells FlightGlobal. “The system worked as intended to equalise pressure in different areas of the aircraft.”
Porter “has a proactive programme to replace door seals, although there is no required timeframe for doing so,” the airline adds. “The failure rate is extremely low.”
De Havilland says the incident’s “root cause was found to be a damaged aft cargo door seal, which would have been replaced.”
“We are supporting Porter to resolve these technical issues, recommending a pressure decay check and have suggested regular inspections of the door seals to ensure they are in good condition in order to minimise events such as these,” De Havilland adds.
Canadian aviation regulatory Transport Canada “is aware of the recent occurrence on a Porter Airlines Q400, and is working with the manufacturer to determine if an unsafe condition is present,” it tells FlightGlobal.
Porter says that Transport Canada has not issued directives related to the door seal issue.
Porter stresses the 17 July incident “is different” from a cargo door handle issue that has caused inflight depressurisations of at least three other Dash 8-400s, including two Porter and one WestJet Encore aircraft, in the last year.
Porter and WestJet have said they are making modifications to their fleets to address the cargo door handle issue.
BY Marcella Bernardo and The Canadian Press Posted July 5, 2019
Airlines are asking the Federal Court of Appeal to end new rules on passenger rights.
The Air Transport Association of Canada says they will drive up the cost of air flight.
But Air Passenger Rights, a passenger advocate group, says the new rules were created to benefit airline companies.
OTTAWA — Canadian airlines are among the hundreds of carriers asking the Federal Court of Appeal to quash new rules around passenger rights.
Air Canada and Porter Airlines Inc., along with some 290 member airlines of the International Air Transport Association, say in a court filing that required compensation for passengers dealing with delayed flights and damaged luggage violates international standards and should be rendered invalid.
The court application, filed last week, also says nullifying the new provisions would avoid confusion for international passengers who could be subject to travel regimes from multiple jurisdictions.
John McKenna, who heads the Air Transport Association of Canada, calls the new rules “ridiculous” and says they will drive up the cost of flying.
Passenger rights advocates say the rules do not go far enough, arguing the criteria for monetary compensation are tough to meet as passengers would have to present evidence typically in the hands of an airline. Gabor Lukacs, founder of the group Air Passenger Rights, says the regulations give airlines “carte blanche to refuse” compensation based on unverifiable maintenance issues.
“These regulations were written for the airlines, by the airlines,” says Lukacs. “And it actually takes back rights of Canadian passengers.”
Lukacs points to changes tarmac delays. Under current standards, passengers can only be kept on an airplane sitting on a tarmac for up to 90 minutes.
.@GaborLukacs has been quick to dismiss legal action by #Canadian airlines including @AirCanada to quash new passenger compensation rules as nothing more than a ‘publicity’ stunt. Details coming @NEWS1130
Under the new regulations, he says passengers would have to wait over three-and-a-half hours before being let off an airplane.
“They are doing it as a publicity stunt,” he says. “We launched last week a legal challenge to some portions of the regulations that actually violated Charter because of how it affects persons with disabilities and of how it takes away rights of passengers contrary to Parliament intent. This is their fast knee-jerk reaction to that.”
Starting July 15, passengers will have to be compensated up to $2,400 if they are denied boarding because a flight was overbooked and receive up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage. Compensation of up to $1,000 for delays and other payments for cancelled flights will take effect in December.
Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.
All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG.
Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.
Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.
Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.
Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.
The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.
Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.
Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.
Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.
Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.
Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”
Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”
While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.
But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.
“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.
Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.
Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.
Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.
“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.