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Hmph. Interesting. Tip flight attendants?

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  • Hmph. Interesting. Tip flight attendants?

    It has long been understood that one doesn't tip flight attendants (or pilots). The theory was that the cost of the ticket included a generous pay package for FAs such that tips were not necessary. Also, things like meals and drinks were included, so there wasn't a "price" involved to calculate a tip.

    Nowadays, pretty much every airline charges for meals and for drinks, even soft drinks and water, even on long-distance international flights. And this article brings up an interesting point:
    “A lot of flight attendants earn very little money, especially if they fly for regional airlines,” said Airfarewatchdog President George Hobica. “They used to get paid when they showed up for duty at the airport and now most airlines pay them only when the wheels are up … so they’re getting paid less, a lot of them have lost their pensions and perhaps it might not be a bad idea to tip them.”

    I hadn't really considered this before, mostly because I figured the FAs' union would have raised holy Hell about it, but in this age of ludicrous nickel-and-diming by airlines, I suppose it's equally possible that the airline management is tightening the screws on folks like the baggage handlers and FAs and, I would suppose, the pilots.



    There's a big anti-tipping movement on, but I tend to feel the opposite; tipping is, in many ways, the ultimate free-market experience: the better someone does, the better they get paid. Pay for performance, even if it is someone brutal. But I have long felt that there were cases in which tipping was unnecessary and frankly awkward. Tipping on cruises is always awkward to me, handing out envelopes to people; I prefer to be an anonymous tipper when possible, sort of like "my tip is our little secret." So handing an envelope to a waiter on a cruise in a room full of people seems a little ... crude, I suppose is the right word. But that's how it's done, so I do so.



    Perhaps it's time to re-think the whole tipping thing W/R/T airline employees. Maybe it would be better and more efficient to move stuff like baggage handling and FA duties to private contractors. FAs are already "selling" for the airlines, just like a waiter in a restaurant is "selling" the veal as a special. Maybe it's a better idea to treat that job like a waiter's job and let excellence in service rule the day. Of course, the opposite side of that coin is that these are professionals in a specified industrial role for which they have received specialized training (pretty much anyone can wait tables, but you have to have special training to know how to deal with a hijacking situation or whatever).


    Something I'll have to ponder.
    Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
    No one will be denied:
    Big law suits and bathroom toots;
    We're all getting Dixie-fried.
    But somewhere Hank and Lefty
    Are rollin' in their graves
    While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Adam View Post
    It has long been understood that one doesn't tip flight attendants (or pilots). The theory was that the cost of the ticket included a generous pay package for FAs such that tips were not necessary. Also, things like meals and drinks were included, so there wasn't a "price" involved to calculate a tip.

    Nowadays, pretty much every airline charges for meals and for drinks, even soft drinks and water, even on long-distance international flights. And this article brings up an interesting point:
    “A lot of flight attendants earn very little money, especially if they fly for regional airlines,” said Airfarewatchdog President George Hobica. “They used to get paid when they showed up for duty at the airport and now most airlines pay them only when the wheels are up … so they’re getting paid less, a lot of them have lost their pensions and perhaps it might not be a bad idea to tip them.”

    I hadn't really considered this before, mostly because I figured the FAs' union would have raised holy Hell about it, but in this age of ludicrous nickel-and-diming by airlines, I suppose it's equally possible that the airline management is tightening the screws on folks like the baggage handlers and FAs and, I would suppose, the pilots.



    There's a big anti-tipping movement on, but I tend to feel the opposite; tipping is, in many ways, the ultimate free-market experience: the better someone does, the better they get paid. Pay for performance, even if it is someone brutal. But I have long felt that there were cases in which tipping was unnecessary and frankly awkward. Tipping on cruises is always awkward to me, handing out envelopes to people; I prefer to be an anonymous tipper when possible, sort of like "my tip is our little secret." So handing an envelope to a waiter on a cruise in a room full of people seems a little ... crude, I suppose is the right word. But that's how it's done, so I do so.



    Perhaps it's time to re-think the whole tipping thing W/R/T airline employees. Maybe it would be better and more efficient to move stuff like baggage handling and FA duties to private contractors. FAs are already "selling" for the airlines, just like a waiter in a restaurant is "selling" the veal as a special. Maybe it's a better idea to treat that job like a waiter's job and let excellence in service rule the day. Of course, the opposite side of that coin is that these are professionals in a specified industrial role for which they have received specialized training (pretty much anyone can wait tables, but you have to have special training to know how to deal with a hijacking situation or whatever).


    Something I'll have to ponder.
    It's been 1981 since I've done extensive travel by air. Back then it was an occasion for dressing up to a certain extent. Tipping was customary as much as I can remember. At least I've done it. For many years after that, while in the military, $10 MAC flights and $3.50 box lunches without a hot towel, were my transport du jour.

    Nowadays...?.... it's become more liken to Greyhound without the nasty terlits unless you can afford business or first class.

    'jes say'n

    Comment


    • #3
      If you ask any FA, they will point out with great zeal that they are not service personnel, they are flight crew.

      That's why they it's a crime not to follow their instructions, and why they can determine that your behavior (like taking photos on the plane, or any number of once-innocuous activities that are now deemed threatening) is a 'disruption', or heavens forbid, a 'hazard', and put you off a plane.

      No tips.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ReinMan View Post
        If you ask any FA, they will point out with great zeal that they are not service personnel, they are flight crew.

        That's why they it's a crime not to follow their instructions, and why they can determine that your behavior (like taking photos on the plane, or any number of once-innocuous activities that are now deemed threatening) is a 'disruption', or heavens forbid, a 'hazard', and put you off a plane.

        No tips.
        A damn good point. You can't go around claiming that you're a vital, necessary employee who has the force of the government behind them and at the same time want a gratuity for service well-done.

        Of course, anyone can report anything to the police, but FAs have a specific, federal law protecting them. The same does not apply to waiters in a restaurant or cab drivers or whatever.
        Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
        No one will be denied:
        Big law suits and bathroom toots;
        We're all getting Dixie-fried.
        But somewhere Hank and Lefty
        Are rollin' in their graves
        While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam View Post
          A damn good point. You can't go around claiming that you're a vital, necessary employee who has the force of the government behind them and at the same time want a gratuity for service well-done.

          Of course, anyone can report anything to the police, but FAs have a specific, federal law protecting them. The same does not apply to waiters in a restaurant or cab drivers or whatever.
          Actually, they can want a tip; they can wish for tips til their hearts burst. You know the old saw about wishing into one hand, and....

          Not outta my pocket.

          Comment


          • #6
            I 'flew' 2 or 3 times a month for over 7 years.

            It was First Class. Just because of the fact that I was doing it.

            For what the 'ticket' cost, I really never considered tipping the 'stews'
            Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
            and lost …
            But the Republicans are racist.

            Comment

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