What triggered this post idea is the negative changes to the lounge at Billy Bishop. Basically they discontinued offering snacks and coffee. Compounding with Aeroplan no longer teaming up with Porter, that is why I delayed writing this post as I do not like writing about negatives. I also wanted to see if Porter would make any additional changes in the New Year before providing an updated rundown of the program. So here it is!
The reason I regularly put expiry policy as one of the first items is because it is one of the most important factors to me when deciding whether I want to put more emphasis on a certain program. The reason is because if I worry about expiry, it is because I may not use the program frequently. For VIPorter:
- Points do not expiry if you fly once every 24 months.
So it is not based on activity, it is based on flights.
Even though you can earn points on other expenses, you still need to fly to keep your account active. Here are the other ways to earn points to help you top up your account faster:
- Base fare
- Change fees
- Checked bags fees
- Pet fees
- Unaccompanied minor fees
- Seat selection fees
Note that taxes, NAV surcharges, airport fees, administrative fees, or any other third party charges collected by Porter will not earn you any points.
VIPorter has 2 levels of elite status after the basic level. Below are the highlights of each level. Note that basic fares earn 2 points for every $1 spent.
- Spend up to $1,499 per calendar year
- Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on eligible Porter purchases (see above)
- Spend between $1,500 and $2,999 per calendar year
- Earn 6 points for every $1 spent on eligible Porter purchases (see above)
- Priority check-in
- Priority security lane
- Priority boarding
- Priority flight re-accomodation (in case of delay)
- Spend $3,000 or more per calendar year
- Earn 7 points for every $1 spent on eligible Porter purchases (see above)
- All the benefits of a Passport member
- Receive Free same-day changes on day of departure
- Receive complimentary checked bag
- Receive complimentary premium seat selection
In light of discontinuing snacks and beverages, maybe it is time for Porter to create an exclusive lounge to elite status members instead?
When using VIPorter points, there are 2 ways to redeem for an award flight:
- Use points only to redeem for the full base fare.
- Use cash and points option against the base fare.
Either way, members will still need to pay the tax.
Now that Aeroplan is no longer teaming up with Porter, I hope Porter will put some energy towards a co-branded credit card. Especially a business version of the card since that was initially their target market.
I know their mandate is the provide a more balanced service, regardless of status. However, they may want to look at enhancing their elite benefits, starting with an exclusive lounge if they are going to discontinue snacks and beverage service to all members.