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Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), is an island airport which is connected to Toronto by an underground pedestrian tunnel and also operates ferry service and short shuttle rides to key locations in the downtown core. Home to Porter Airlines, Billy Bishop has announced that it is scrapping complimentary snacks and coffee service from their lounge. The lounge was open to all travelers and the complimentary snacks and drinks were a feature of every marketing initiative to convince travelers to use the downtown airport.
Porter Airlines operates majority of their flights out of Billy Bishop, however, the lounge was not run by them (against popular belief) – the airport is owned and operated by Ports Toronto. The free lounge snacks in the airport terminal complemented Porter’s free beer, wine and snacks service on-board. While the lounge, free coffee and snacks were a good perk, the airport really did not offer much in terms of ‘real food options’. In response to the need, Billy Bishop has been undergoing a significant upgrade, which includes three new restaurants, three retails stores and a duty free shop (all open since Oct 22nd).
As a frequent traveler to Billy Bishop, I do not mind giving up complementary snacks for better paid food options. Have to confess though, I always enjoyed the free cappuccino and butter cookies 🙂 . Lack of food options and complementary snacks and coffee also meant that the Billy Bishop lounge area was often crammed and looked like this;
With the renovated space and new restaurants, I was glad to see this development instead;
The new amenities at Billy Bishop bodes well for the fast growing Porter Airlines really well. Connecting more than 20 cities in Canada and the US, Billy Bishop sees 2.8 million passengers each year (as per Billy Bishop airport website). With Porter airlines operating majority flights out of YTZ, their route map looks like this;
Have you used the services at Billy Bishop airport? Share your thoughts on the scrapping of free coffee and snacks with a comment below!