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Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Toronto, ON
4 posts
2 reviews
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Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

I took a flight last Thursday, before the 'Long Weekend Rush'. I arrived at the airport on time, but the ferry was running a few minutes behind as there was a huge number of people offloading.

I got to the terminal on the island, and was greeting by a huge backlog of people -- I'd estimate there were 150 to 200 people waiting to drop bags and check in. When I saw there were easily half a dozen empty kiosks, I started worrying I'd miss my flight.

By the time I got to the counter to check in, I had about 10 minutes to board -- but security had opened a second lane to deal with the influx of passengers lined up out the door. At that point, I'd been standing in line for 20 minutes.

After my bag was checked in, I ran over to security, and discovered they'd just closed the second line. I cleared security without issue, but it ate up the time I had left. I zipped down the escalator, and while the screen still said my flight was boarding, the sliding door was locked.

When I talked to the customer service agent, she said that I'd missed the flight, and that it would cost $85 to 'rebook' me. When I explained that the checkin counters were clearly understaffed and that security had closed the second line for screening, she said, "Doesn't matter. You're late."

There were 8 or 10 people in the same situation, and when I spoke with a few of them, they all had the same complaints -- the ferry was slow, the checkin lineup was too long, and security closed the second lane as Porter was paging passengers.

I filled out a customer service complaint on the Porter website, and I haven't received a response in a week.

In retrospect, I think that Porter is padding their bottom line with these 'rebooking' fees -- they under-staff the checkin counters, causing folks to miss their flights, and in the process generating $700-$1000 in pure, unadulterated profit.

I've been flying Porter for almost 5 years -- and the service has really tanked lately. What are your stories?

detroit
Destination Expert
for Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
5,696 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

I heard you are to get to the airport least 2 hours before your flight takes off.

Flying seems like so much hassle today, I've stick with driving or the bus. Yeah you can't go as far away, oh well

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
580 posts
190 reviews
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2. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

What is "on time"? They definitely risk losing passengers if they keep that up though since part of the appeal for many is that you typically haven't needed to show up crazy early for Porter flights.

Toronto, ON
4 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Porter recommends an hour -- and I arrived on time - 1 hour before my flight. The fact that they don't recommend 90 minutes plays even more to the idea that they're purposely profiting from passengers missing flights.

But seriously, a 90 minute lead time makes the island airport no better than Pearson!

Edited: 08 August 2012, 15:43
Ontario
Level Contributor
999 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Were you in line at the check in desk 1 hour before your flight? If so, you shouldn't have to pay the change fee imho

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,212 posts
61 reviews
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5. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Wow, that sucks!

We travelled Porter to MTL at 9:45 the next day & everything went like clockwork. Lines were very modest- we checked in our bag within about 5 minutes of arriving. Could be ferry problems that screwed things up on your travel day.

Don't talk to us about the 35 minute $25.00 cab ride from the Island Airport to Yonge & College on the way home, though!! (Not Porters' fault!)

We have been known to use our phone camera in situations like yours.

Toronto, ON
4 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Actually, I just checked my itinerary. It says to arrive at the airport 30 minutes before the flight -- and I was there at 4pm for a 5pm departure, which should have been more than enough time, yet, I got stung with this $85 fee.

I think the thing that bugs me the most is how there has been ZERO response to my complaint from Porter. They've clearly grown too fast, and don't have the staff (or the desire) to keep up with the costs of being anything more than a niche airline.

Toronto
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1,521 posts
66 reviews
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7. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

I'd forget about the webmail form and contact them by phone and insist on talking to management. They're counting on you NOT following up on this matter.

1-888-619-8622.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,154 posts
768 reviews
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8. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

I used Porter in April and they were very efficient and it was a much better experience than going through Pearson...

Toronto, ON
4 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

Carobs: What does it say about the customer service experience that they can't be bothered to reply within a week?

Take your pick...

"We don't care because we don't have to -- we own the island airport."

"We couldn't be bothered to spend money on replying to eMails."

"Screwing the customer is part of our business strategy -- get used to it."

Toronto, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
4,028 posts
58 reviews
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10. Re: Has anyone else noticed how Porter has gone downhill lately?

I've always been a big supporter of this little airline, but...they have made several ad campaigns about needing less time to fly with them than to fly thru Pearson, so I think it's important that you stay with it. We've seen on this board that post-flight response if NOT a strong suit with them. But this is a form of social media, as is Twitter and Facebook. They have sites on both those. Make a noise; keep it concise, but make the noise in public and see if you get a better response.