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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Porter just got rid of free coffee and snacks at Toronto Island airport

Which would you rather have: Free, unlimited quantities of decent coffee and the best damn shortbread cookies you've ever tasted, or the mere opportunity to buy a slightly fancier espresso-based beverage and some Calabrese flatbread?

Sorry frequent flyers out of Billy Bishop Airport, you no longer have a choice in the matter.

Porter Airlines has quietly pulled its beloved bevy of free snacks and drinks from its lounges at Toronto's island airport, leaving cookie lovers even more heartbroken than when the airline dared to change shortbread brands in 2017.

This change follows the unveiling of Nieuport Aviation's bigger, more comfortable lounges at Billy Bishop Airport, as well as several new "high-quality food, beverage and shopping experiences."

Among the new dining options for passengers awaiting flights on the island are a Balzac's Coffee outpost, a lounge delivery service called Market@416, and a tapas bar by Toronto Chef Grant van Gameren called OBISPO.

Nieuport announced in a press release earlier this month that the new restaurants and shops would showcase locally-inspired flavours and products.

Market@416, for instance, will serve up a selection of Ontario craft beers and dishes with names like "Chinatown BBQ wings," "Downtown Benedict" and "Poutine Dawg."

YTZ's OBISPO focuses on health-conscious grab-and-go meals, according to Nieuport, though items like a charcuterie & cheese plate suggest it's also being marketed as a sit down spot.

Billy Bishop started rolling out the new domestic and transborder lounges on October 12, prompting passengers to notice and speak up about the changes—and particularly the changes to Porter's snack selection.

As welcome as the new dining options are to some, Billy Bishop Airport has long been known for its excellent selection of free snacks.

The Porter lounge shortbread cookies were particularly beloved; especially Cookie It Up's chocolate chip version, which has since been replaced with Walkers.

Passengers can still find great cookies at Balzac's and other airport retailers, but they'll have to pay for them — And nothing tastes better than free.

Despite the sadness and confusion, Billy Bishop Airport will remain the preferred point of takeoff for many in Toronto.

Free coffee or no free coffee, it still beats driving all the way up to Pearson.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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