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Tipping Flight Attendants

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by AliGee, Jun 29, 2012.

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  1. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    I first read about this recently in a book by a flight attendant, and - especially because he spent most of the book complaining - I thought he was begging, but then today TheShaah (an FA on the board) mentioned it in another thread, and since his credibility is greater I now am taking the idea seriously. Has anyone here tipped an FA, or given a little gift to them? It had never occurred to me to do this! That's not because the vast majority of them don't do a great job (they do) but because, although serving drinks, etc is the main thing everyone sees them do, I don't see them first and foremost as "wait staff". Rather, after watching many episodes of TV shows about airline disasters, I see this well trained and under-appreciated crew position as first line safety who will do everything they can do save my panicked a$$ when something goes horribly wrong.

    The FA on the board, as does the guy who wrote the book, states that they are not allowed to accept tips, but can if someone "insists". So has anyone insisted, and was it well received? What are your thoughts on the whole idea?
     
  2. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Hi, AliGee.

    I have been a frequent flyer (and pretty loyal) to one airline for over ten years.
    I'm talking hundreds of flights (counting connections, of course).
    Both business and personal travel.

    I've seen people give the flight attendants gifts of food or an item here or there, mostly
    because the passenger and flight attendant were getting along well and
    enjoying conversation, bonding, flirting etc.
    I've seen the giving of the aforementioned gifts happen in business and first class.
    Probably 10 times over the course of my flights.
    I've never seen money exchange hands, but that sure as hell doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    I've never felt the need nor thought it appropriate to tip a flight attendant.
    Never crossed my mind.
     
  3. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    WHAT!?

    Another person to tip! "Homey don't play that game." I already have lots of
    people to tip when I fly to Vegas and when I arrive in Vegas.
    I think the first class people must tip when they get their drinks served so the airline "waitress" can keep the drinks coming when she sees the glass empty.
    The rest of us just get peanuts. Yuck. If I ask for a small bottle of water on Delta" flying to Vegas.... the waitresses tell me "NO"....it's just for First Class".
    I have met some nice stewardess on long flights but I would never tip them.

    I carry lots of tip money to tip everybody that needs to be tipped.

    Airline stewards are supposed to be classy and professional. But I guess times have changed.

    Reminds me of an experience before 9/11 incident. I was flying home from Florida to California. There was a beautiful lady who had a pet dog under her seat. She kept calling the young steward guy to take her some drinks.
    That lady could really drink.
    I guess she knew the steward real well because she tipped him with a tiny
    clear packet of cocaine. He took it right away and thanked her as she was getting ready to get off the airplane.
    I guess those were the good old days.lol. So some of you will ask...."How do you know it was cocaine? I hung out with a Hollywood entertainment crowd for many years and I know what the packets look like. That is how I know.
    I am a jadded old lady.lol. Lucy
     
  4. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    I have tried to tip a FA on southwest 3-4 times, and every single time they have given it back to me.



    I have no interest in tipping a FA that has the cart out and I get 1 drink on a 3 hour flight. Flying anywhere first class or on southwest, they come back to you fairly often. I've never felt a need when sitting in first class.
     
  5. pbrehob

    pbrehob Tourist

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    I flew to Vegas on Southwest last week with a friend. We had several beers and tried to tip after the last one and the flight attendant politely refused it. Next time I will insist.
     
  6. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    I travel about 200 days a year for work - and I often see the same flight attendants over and over again as a result - many even know me by name - but I don't think I've ever had a flight attendant do anything that I felt warranted giving them a tip - well, at least not in the last decade or so, anyway - And I'm someone who is usually very generous in situations that call for tipping.

    In all my years of flying, I don't recall ever seeing anyone else tip a flight attendant either.

    Frankly, I think most of the FA's I know would be much more grateful if you were just patient, understanding & compassionate to them while they try to do their jobs than if you were to give them a tip.
     
  7. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Well said, Jilly.
     
  8. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    You learn something new every day.....

    My husband is a commercial airline Captain and when we are traveling together, he has never tipped them, nor even mentioned it. I never considered it myself mainly because (in coach) you are paying for onboard items with credit card, not cash. Even before the switch to CCs, I guess I never considered it either.

    I guess I thought the best thing I could do was be polite and not annoying. If I was a FA, I'd rather have a quiet flight than $20 bucks in tips in the end. LOL
     
  9. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I tip everybody, sometimes when you land, the captain is by the cockpit as you leave, I always hand him a couple 20's with a "good landing" comment, as I'm walking down the jetway, I tip pretty much every worker I see with a 5'er...I just cant help but spread the love around!:kiss:
     
  10. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    IMO tipping in the United States has gotten way out of control. In other countries there is no tipping - everything is built into the price of the meal or service. For actual services rendered, like maid service, waiter service in a restaurant, bellman and what have you, I tip and tip generously. But I have to draw the line when you walk up to the cashier at a deli or a Starbucks and there is a tip jar on the counter. Really? So now people should tip the cashier for simply ringing up a purchase? I think it is preposterous.

    I have a friend who is a flight attendant, and he has never mentioned being tipped (unless you count the woman who left her dirty underpants behind on the seat on one flight). Flight attendants (especially when they are starting out) make a shockingly low salary for what they do - a little over $16K a year.

    I have never heard of tipping for flight attendants, but if it is against FAA rules, would you really want to risk getting someone in trouble and jeapordizing their job? How do you know some jealous co-worker who didn't get all the tips isn't going to complain to a supervisor? That is probably why most of them hand the tips back - it is not worth the risk.
     
  11. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I'm with you on this. I do it, because it is the accepted culture and I don't want to look cheap, but in the UK we tip 10% on average on a restaurant bill (we include drinks and tax so it's probably nearer the 20% on food that is usually done in the US) and that's about it.

    Taxi driver - generally round up to the nearest £1, unless a long journey or they do something helpful.

    A standard tip in a UK bar is "take your own". Each bar generally has its own definition of this, but it's usually between 20 pence and £1 (30 cents to $1.50).

    We don't generally tip for much else. You'd tip the concierge if he did something for you...off the top of my head that's it, but I have probably missed a few out.
     
  12. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I never heard of FAs being allowed to even accept tips. So, no, I don't tip them.
     
  13. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    Yes, tipping has gotten very out of control. Tip jars are everywhere! Why do I need to tip when getting a donut from Dunkin? Ridiculous.

    Oh and all FAs do not make that low of a wage. Not all FAs make the same amount. Just like pilots do not all make the same amount. It all depends on carrier and/or aircrafts.
     
  14. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    I agree with all the posters that say a quiet, compliant cabin full of passengers is probably worth more to an FA than any tip. And yes, I hate the tip jars at counters - won't drop a dime in.
     
  15. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    You are right of course that not all FA's make a low salary - I should have clarified that is a starting salary and some who have been flying for a number of years have worked their way up to a very comfortable wage.

    Another thing I don't particularly like is having to tip to use the bathroom in a restaurant or club. I understand that the attendant is just trying to make a living and it is not their fault, but I just think it is kind of bizarre that you have to tip someone for handing you a paper towel in a bathroom after you have just spent a good deal of money in the establishment. If you use any of the amenities such as hairspray, cologne or whatever, yes I think you should tip, but otherwise it reminds me of that UK airline Ryanair that was trying to put pay toilets on board a couple of years ago. There are many things that I will tip for, but the privilege of using a restroom is not one of them! Oh well...back to the flight attendants lol
     
  16. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    I'd just like to say if everyone who delivers alcohol get a tip - then what do you give the nurses who bring you narcotics?

    :wink2:
     
  17. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    100% agree with you on this one. There are many times where I'm wanting or expecting some service from someone. Getting a piece of paper to dry my hands is something I've done on my own since I was a kid, noone has ever asked for that service....

    There are bars that I have gone to for years and they added a bathroom attendant and I stopped going there immediately.
     
  18. earth-3

    earth-3 High-Roller

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    It used to be you tipped service industry people because they were getting minimum wage but were giving you more than minimum service. If I start to give FA's a tip because of life saving training (or what ever) what about paramedics, firemen, policemen, etc... They may save my life one day as well. How about lawyers, doctors (since pilots are already mentioned) and all hospital personel? Should we pass the hat when someone offers an act of kindness, stops a robbery or prevents a mugging? At what point do you draw a line between being a good citizen, employee or hero and doing what is expected of you by society? When is a tip or tip jar inappropriate? I feel I tip and tip well when I do.
     
  19. MMacys1

    MMacys1 Tourist

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    I have gotten some of the worst service in my many trips to Europe. I feel servers don't care as much because the tip is already built in.
     
  20. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Airlines are phasing cash out, but back when I'd purchase a drink and the change was modest, I'd insist that the FA keep the change.

    One time I was flying Southwest from Orange County to Vegas (only about an hour flight). The attendants came around to take drink orders and I ordered a Jack and coke with a drink coupon and a $2 bill as tip. The attendant said that that wasn't necessary, but I insisted. We hit some turbulence and they made an announcement saying that they were very sorry, but that there would be no drink service since we'd be landing in a few moments anyway. Shortly thereafter, the attendant I tipped earlier came around with a can of coke and two minis of Jack Daniels and said "Drink this fast!"

    Needless to say, the landing felt pretty smooth to me.
     
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