I did something not too long ago that I rarely ever do...allowed my miles-hungry self to go outside of the safety bubble of my beloved airline alliance and hopped a flight on an airline I have always been curious about- Porter Airlines.  Now, it takes an extreme situation for me to even consider NOT getting miles, but a very long slew of intensive meetings ended early in Toronto and all I wanted to do was find a magic carpet to take me home instantly.  OK, so it wasn't instant but it was pretty fantastic.

Porter Airlines' flights depart from downtown Toronto back to Newark where I was headed, incredibly convenient if you're downtown for work or play and the cab ride was ridiculously brief and inexpensive and there I was, transported into an alternate universe I called retro-aero-chic.  And it was nice...

No line for check in, just a friendly face who printed my boarding pass in about 10 seconds and asked me to move to the ferry line. Yes, the terminal is on the other side of the water- just a few minutes' ride over to a crowd-free terminal and there it was.  Retro-aero-chic, I had forgotten what that was like when standard air travel seemed like a special occasion.  The lounge is stylish, comfortable, and open to EVERYONE. No access pass needed, every passenger has access to ample seating, plenty of electrical outlets, even a little café with complimentary drinks and mixed nuts (what!?)    Flight attendants rush by in crisp navy blue outfits complete with pillbox hats, people all seemed to be in a nice relaxed mood, the small pop up shop was filled with curious travel-themed books and gadgets arranged in an attractive setting that begs you to have a look.   The flight was pleasant, the cabin crew smiled, doled out some tasty items to nosh on, and in a blink I was back For the first time in a long time, after a hectic business trip, I didn't feel stressed.  .  And that's a priceless feeling, miles-collection or not.