Cool your jets, Toronto! The beloved, free shortbread cookies at Billy Bishop Airport aren’t going anywhere.
Patrons of the airport took to social media, outraged at reports that the complimentary goods usually available in the airport’s lounge weren’t there anymore.
But Rebecca Thompson, a spokesperson with Nieuport Aviation, the company responsible for overseeing the airport lounges, said the cookie is here to stay —What’s not available anymore is the complimentary coffee and snack mix, Thompson said.
However, reports that the popular shortbread cookies may have been axed caused a frenzy on social media, with frequent flyers tweeting their disappointment at Porter Airlines, the company most associated with the free goods.
In the process, some admitted to being guilty of taking more cookies than necessary, while others discussed their disappointment with the changes.
Nieuport Aviation, which is responsible for the lounges at the airport, made the decision to do away with some of the popular snacks given to flyers at the terminal as it updates the lounges with more for-purchase food options.
“The terminal was built for passengers around 1.5 million a year, but we’re now up to over 2.8 million so the terminal needed to be upgraded,” said Thompson.
In a press release dated Oct. 12, Nieuport announced the terminal upgrades, saying it was opening Balzac’s, a coffee store, and Market@416, which will serve local Toronto food and craft beers, as well as OBISPO, a restaurant and bar offering Mediterranean food.
“With some, you know, pretty delicious flavours,” Thompson said.
Sarah Sahagian, a former teacher, said she used to go through the airport frequently while travelling with students. They would beg her to take them through the lounge area for a chance to munch on the complimentary cookies.
“It just was one of those things where it was a treat that you rarely kind of get in a busy hectic world where you feel like everyone is nickel and diming you to make as much profit as they can,” she said.
“It just felt very egalitarian, it felt very democratic to me — they were creating an environment where all their customers were treated equal, and that’s what I really appreciated about it.”
Porter confirmed in an email that along with the cookie, they will continue to offer free beer and wine on flights.
For Sahagian, the complimentary offerings were a nostalgic reminder of a more comfortable time.
“I remember my mother telling me stories of how air travel in the ’70s used to be really luxurious and glamorous and fun and it kind of felt like a throwback to that,” she said.
Sahagian and other Billy Bishop patrons will be glad to hear that the cookie will stay, there just won’t be unlimited coffee to dip it in.
With files from Premila D’Sa.
Marjan Asadullah is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @marjanasadullah