For a long time, I felt like Vaughan was the city that transportation planners forgot. There was limited transit within the city itself but if you wanted to connect, you would end up taking three times as long because none of the schedules meshed.
And then this past Christmas everything changed and we got transit options. Not one but two big changes for getting downtown. The additional transit options create airport options as well – when booking, we could choose either of the Toronto Airports, not just Pearson – which is great for big international trips but not always what you want for smaller flights. Easy access to downtown Toronto meant access to the Billy Bishop Airport became easier, and that’s a great thing. Now that there was easy access to the Island airport by way of Go Train or TTC, we could try out Porter Airlines and their amazing short hop flights. My trip was from Toronto to Ottawa – with my kids for added adventure.
Things to know to help you make the most of your porter flight
Getting to the Billy Bishop airport from Vaughan
You can either take the Go Train which now offers all-day service or the TTC from the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station. Once you get down to union station, make your way over to the Fairmont Royal York, where you’ll be able to access the free shuttle to the Billy Bishop airport. Once you get off the shuttle, you can take the ferry or tunnel to the airport itself. In the winter, I recommend the Tunnel, in the summer the ferry is a nice option.
Lounge in Ottawa & Toronto
I bet you didn’t know this but yes it’s true. There is a FREE porter lounge at The Billy Bishop Airport and Ottawa International Airport. The lounge amenities include free snacks, coffee, Tazo Teas, and beverages like water, pop, juice.
You can gate check your carry-on which is perfect for me. I like the idea of having my carry-on baggage as I get off the flight without having to lug it onto the plane itself, hoisting it up into the overhead bins, and then taking it down – especially when I’m travelling with kids. With gate-check it’s the best of both worlds.
You’ll want to check your carry-on anyways if it’s on the bigger side because the compartments to store them are smaller on some Porter planes. I was able to fit my bag in the overhead compartment on my flight to Ottawa, but on my flight home I couldn’t.
Don’t waste your money on overpriced airport snacks because on board you’ll have complimentary access to butter cookies, chips, nuts, pop, water, juice, and wine. Yes. Complimentary.