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Review of Porter Airline’s VIPorter Frequent Flyer Reward program

Porter is the popular short flights Canadian airline and well known as the only carrier that flies in and out of Toronto Island. The airline operates single class Q-400 and takes pride in simple and affordable fares and other inflight services. They mainly target passengers who value convenience and their VIPorter frequent flyer reward program is based on class of fare purchased and flight segments. Porter argues that the VIPorter program is unique just because it accumulates points rather than miles but truth is, it is just like most other program as you will see in the review below.

Earning Points

Members of the VIPorter program accumulate points when they purchase flight tickets. The number of points awarded depends on the fare class mostly, with the Firm class earning 375 points, Flexible class 750 and Freedom Class 1,500 VIPorter points for a one way flights.
Porter offers promotions as well as opportunities from time to time that reward passengers with bonus points but the airline does not partner with any other airlines for its customers to accumulate points outside their flights. Unlike most programs today, VIPorter members cannot transfer their points to other members.
The VIPorter program does not allow members to top up points with cash, so if you are one point short of redemption you will have to pay with cash.

Redeeming points

As I mentioned before, the VIPorter program, though simplistic and straightforward, has many limiting terms and conditions even when it comes to points redemption. For instance, its customers can only redeem their accumulated VIPorter points for flight tickets on the airline at a fixed rate. To redeem a one way ticket, you will need 7,500 VIPorter points but the flight will not be eligible for additional VIPorter points. The good thing is that the airline allocates up to 10% of its available seats for VIPorter redemption though availability is not guaranteed.
Existing members of VIPorter can also be awarded retroactive points for flights taken up to a month before signing up for the program. Members have 6 months to request for retroactive credit but the points will not be available if the request is made 6 months after the date of travel. The program offers the option of redeeming points for other passengers.

Elite membership

There are no membership levels in the VIPorter program.

Pros

• VIPorter is among the simplest bare-bone frequent flyers today. It rewards points rather than miles and has no elite membership complications.
• Allocation of 10% flight seats for VIPorter points redemption means more seats for those cashing in their points.
• It is the only airline operating to and fro Toronto Island
• The program is more rewarding for high fares.
• Fixed redemption rates – 7,500 points for a one-way ticket.

Cons

• The program has no partners, no credit card and no elite status meaning there are very few opportunities for members to earn more points.
• VIPorter points can only be redeemed for flight tickets on the carrier.
• Points expire 4 years after they were earned. The points can expire even when your account is active.

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