Porter Airlines is a fast growing Canadian airline with a focus on elevated economy travel.
Headquartered at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), Porter offers flights across Canada and to major US cities.
Porter Airlines revamped its loyalty program, VIPorter, in 2023, expanding the membership levels, adding more benefits, and increasing members’ ability to earn VIPorter points which can be used to book Porter flights.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at VIPorter, including how to earn VIPorter points, the best ways to redeem your points for free flights, and how the membership levels work.
Earning VIPorter Points
With VIPorter, you’ll earn points based on both the amount of money you spend with Porter Airlines and on your VIPorter membership level.
All members earn at least 5 VIPorter points per dollar spent. From there, VIPorter Passport and Venture members earn 6 VIPorter points per dollar spent, and VIPorter Ascent and First members earn 7 VIPorter points per dollar spent.
Notably, you’ll still earn the same amount of points per dollar spent regardless of whether the spend is in US dollars or Canadian dollars.
VIPorter points are earned on the base fare of Porter flights and on ancillary Porter services, including seat selection fees, change fees, checked baggage fees, pet fees, and unaccompanied minor fees.
You won’t earn points on taxes, surcharges, airport fees, admin fees, or on any part of your ticket purchased with VIPorter points.
Once earned, VIPorter points expire after 24 consecutive months if you don’t either complete qualifying travel with Porter or make a redemption.
At this time, you’ll only earn VIPorter points on Porter flights and on codeshare bookings that combine a Porter flight with a partner airline flight in one itinerary.
Additionally, if the same ticket is purchased through a third party, including through travel agents or the partner airline, you’ll only earn VIPorter points on the Porter-operated flight.
However, Porter’s partnership with Alaska Airlines is expanding its benefits, and you should be able to earn VIPorter points on Alaska Airlines flights beginning at some point in 2024.
Redeeming VIPorter Points
VIPorter points can be used to book any available seat to any of the airline’s constantly expanding list of destinations, which currently includes 19 destinations in Canada and 12 in the United States.
As mentioned above, at this time VIPorter points can’t be used to book flights with partner airlines; however, that should change with Porter’s partnership with Alaska Airlines.
VIPorter points can either be redeemed for 100% of the base fare, or you can redeem VIPorter points against a portion of the base fare and pay the remaining balance with a credit card or other form of payment.
With both options, you’ll still be responsible for paying for all taxes and fees using cash.
VIPorter points can be redeemed online by simply logging in to your account at flyporter.com and choosing a flight. When searching for flights, you can then select whether to pay in “Dollars,” “Points,” or “Dollars & Points.”
If you’d prefer to speak with a customer service agent, you can also redeem your points by calling the Porter Call Centre at 1-888-619-8622.
Porter Airlines doesn’t have a published award chart, and pricing seems to follow both a fixed and dynamic pricing model.
Porter flights can be booked for as little as 5,500 points, plus taxes and fees for a one-way PorterClassic flight from Toronto (YYZ) to Miami (MIA). However, most routes have fares starting at 8,500 VIPorter points, including the longer routes like Toronto (YYZ) to Los Angeles (LAX).
Porter Airlines doesn’t offer a business class product, so when booking your flight, you’ll be choosing between PorterClassic and the slightly larger seats offered with PorterReserve. This is essentially the choice between economy and premium economy.
Keep in mind that PorterReserve tickets can cost anywhere from 1.5x to 3x the number of points as a PorterClassic seat, depending on availability.
VIPorter Avid Traveller Tiers
When you join VIPorter, you’ll start at the first level as a VIPorter Member. As you reach qualifying spend thresholds, you’ll advance to one of the four Avid Traveller membership tiers: Passport, Venture, Ascent, and First.
Qualifying spend refers to every dollar spent with Porter Airlines (both CAD and USD), not including taxes and surcharges, but including the base fare of a flight ticket, checked bags fees, change and cancellation fees, seat selection fees, pet fees, and unaccompanied minor fees.
To reach each Avid Traveller tier, you’ll need the following amount of qualifying spend within a calendar year:
- VIPorter Passport: $2,000
- VIPorter Venture: $3,000
- VIPorter Ascent: $6,000
- VIPorter First: $10,000
At each level, you’ll enjoy more benefits when flying with Porter Airlines, including complimentary seat selection, complimentary check-bags, free changes, and more.
Through the VIPorter program, you can also earn PorterReserve Certificates.
You’ll earn your first certificate once you reach $3,000 in qualifying spend in a calendar year. After earning the first PorterReserve Certificate, you’ll earn one for every $2,000 in additional qualifying spend during that same year.
PorterReserve Certificates offer a complimentary upgrade from a PorterClassic seat to a PorterReserve seat when you purchase a PorterClassic Standard fare or above.
PorterReserve seats are located at the front of the aircraft and come with more legroom, two complimentary checked bags, meals when available, premium liquor, and the ability to change or cancel your flight.