Review: Porter Airlines PorterReserve Vancouver to Toronto

Flight Number
PD 306
Embraer E195-E2
4 hours 35 minutes
January 2024

I recently had the opportunity to fly Porter Airlines from Vancouver to Toronto. On this flight, I tried out the new PorterReserve seats and service onboard the Embraer E195-E2.

Porter Airlines advertises itself as offering an elevated economy experience, with complimentary beer and wine, no middle seats, and free in-flight Wi-Fi available to all passengers. PorterReserve is the airline’s most premium offering, and it comes complete with premium ground services and an enhanced in-flight experience.

After covering the airline’s growing fleet and expanding network for the past couple of years, I was excited to see how Porter’s newest product would play out in real life.

In This Post

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Cabin

Before boarding, I enjoyed the dedicated check-in and expedited security that comes with every PorterReserve booking.

Passengers with PorterReserve seats are also given priority boarding, so when it was time to go, I boarded early and was able to take in the entirety of the cabin while it was still empty.

My flight was on Porter Airlines’s Embraer E195-E2, which has 132 seats across 33 rows. The seating is arranged in a 2-2 configuration, meaning that there’s no middle seat (which is actually the case for all of Porter’s seating configurations).

PorterReserve seats took up the first four rows of the cabin, followed by five rows of PorterClassic Stretch seats, and 24 rows of PorterClassic seats.

Notably, there’s no divider between any of the seat types, which means there’s minimal visual distinction between PorterReserve, PorterClass Stretch, and PorterClassic seating.

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Seat

The PorterReserve seat measures 46.5cm wide, has a recline of up to six inches, and provides 36 inches of legroom.

By comparison, the PorterClassic seat also measures 46.5cm, but only has up to two inches of recline and 30 inches of legroom. On the Embraer 195-E2s, Porter also offers the PorterClassic Stretch seat, which offers up to four inches of recline and 34 inches of legroom.

It’s worth noting that the Stretch seats are located in the rows just behind the PorterReserve seats, and although they’re nearly the same size as the PorterReserve seats, they don’t come with the same perks and amenities.

That said, I thought the PorterReserve seat was fairly comfortable, and in line with what I would expect from a premium economy seat on a similar airline.

It was definitely nice to have the extra legroom compared to regular economy, and I was able to store my bag at my feet without sacrificing the ability to stretch out my legs. 

I also appreciated the adjustable headrest and the additional couple inches of recline, both of which helped make me more comfortable during my flight.

The seat also came with the standard table that was stored in the seat-back in front of me; however, I enjoyed that the table was designed with a bi-fold, which meant I could use it to hold my drink and smaller items without having it take up all the space.

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Meal Service

Since my flight was later in the day, I was given the choice of four different entrées for my meal, as well as a wide selection of refreshments.

The meal service was presented in a clever meal box format, with the 7-layer Mexican dip and the zucchini loaf arriving first alongside the cutlery and a fun amenity (more on that later).

Moments after receiving this, the staff brought around my chosen entrée: the soba noodle salad.

I thought the meal box was a great way to keep things contained, and it made for a unique and innovative presentation.

In terms of the food quality, I thought the Mexican dip appetizer was great, but I felt the soba noodle salad entrée was only so-so as it was a little dry, and the noodles didn’t have the springiness I’d have liked.

As part of the elevated economy experience, Porter Airlines offers all passengers a choice of free snacks and complimentary wine, beer, and other refreshments.

For those like me who were seated in a PorterReserve seat, we were additionally offered an expanded selection of premium snacks and refreshments.

I thought the beverage menu had a particularly good range, offering some lesser-seen options like cold-pressed juices and pre-mixed cocktails.

It’s also great to see Porter focus their selections on Canadian offerings, such as Beau’s and Steam Whistle beers, Jackson-Triggs wines, Balzac’s coffee, Greenhouse Juices, Sloane Tea, and Tumbler & Rocks cocktails.

Additionally, it was refreshing to see real glassware being used in an economy cabin, and it definitely added a touch of class to the whole experience.

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Drink in glassware

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Other Amenities

As an entirely economy airline, Porter doesn’t offer a lot in the way of in-flight amenities.

However, a stand-out feature is free high-speed Wi-Fi on all flights operating on their Embraer 195-E2 aircraft.

The free Wi-Fi was awesome to have, and it worked well whenever I needed it.

Each seat on the flight was also equipped with a universal power outlet, which always comes in handy.

Porter Airlines PorterReserve – Universal power outlets

Lastly, as a fun and thoughtful amenity, Porter provided a folding phone stand with the meal box that lets you watch content on your phone without having to hold it in your hands the whole time.

This was a particularly nice touch since the cabin isn’t equipped with any in-flight entertainment systems.


Porter Airlines is definitely doing the work to set itself apart from its competition, by offering free snacks, free refreshments, the promise of no middle seats, and even free Wi-Fi (on eligible flights).

With PorterReserve, the extra legroom and the expanded food and drink offerings further add to the elevated economy experience that the airline strives to provide.

On my recent trip, I had an overall enjoyable experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend PorterReserve to those looking for a slightly more premium experience without paying extra for premium economy on other carriers.