General Question

jacksonRice's avatar

Tipping flight attendants?

Asked by jacksonRice (407points) July 1st, 2008

Why don’t people do it? Should we start? I think I’ll start. Pros: they are absurdly underpaid & this would help; airlines would not have to pay them as much; flights would be more pleasant with better service… Cons: costs a couple more bucks a flight; sucks for people who can’t afford a couple more bucks a flight; there’s gotta be some mess with the even distribution of tips among attendants…

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Good heavens, no! For one thing I hate the spread of tipping more and more for what is not really personal service. For another, there is hardly any service on the airlines these days. Just try catching a flight attendant’s eye. For a third, their trade off is huge travel benies.

lefteh's avatar

I hate tipping. It is so, so outdated. As Marina said, we should not go about spreading it even wider.

judochop's avatar

I personally cant ever see myself tipping a flight attendant. I am forced to stay in my seat, generally the service is horrible and I already pay way too much to fly around anyway. I tip bartenders well and food service handlers well. I am paying for their service. When I am flying I am just being told what to do. I understand the need for order and safety on a flight but generally I do not feel like they really care about my flight experiance. Perhaps if I felt like they cared then I would care to tip them.

xyzzy's avatar

Note that if you’re concerned about flight attendants being underpaid, tipping them is the best way to ensure that they will be paid even less in the future. Once it becomes standard practice, management will use tipping as an excuse to lower wages.

Remember, thanks to tips, a waitress can be legally paid far less than mininum wage.

jonno's avatar

Remember though that tipping is mainly an American thing (well, some other countries do it too – but tipping is definitely not universal).

Flight attendants serve people from many different countries, who wouldn’t be used to tipping. And flight attendants on airlines from countries who don’t tip – they wouldn’t expect a tip, and depending on their culture, may even find it insulting.

Tipping is just an absurd pratice, the only time I ever tip is if the service exceeds my expectations (mind you, if I were in America, I would probably tip seeing as they work for low wages… but I wouldn’t be happy about it!).

jacksonRice's avatar

but has anyone here ever been a waiter or waitress or bartender?
@xyzzy, flight attendants’ wages are getting slashed no matter what we do about it. airlines consistently show no regard for their salaries.

@ marina & lefeth, why? why should tipping be exclusive to personal services? & the service would obviously be better on planes if tipping was common.

lefteh's avatar

This blog posts expresses my feelings pretty well.

marinelife's avatar

@jacksonrice There is absolutely no guarantee of better service. Also, when people have expectations about tipping, service sometimes becomes shoddier.

I am a writer. No one tips me for a special quip or a bon mot. Why do I have to tip people for doing their jobs? We need to go the other way and have less tipping. Restaurants should pay a decent base wage.

Tips were supposed to be for extra service provided or service above and beyond the norm. The nomal service level was supposed to be covered by the price. One practice I hate is tipping baristas. Jeez, the price I am paying for the coffee is ridiculous already!

jonno's avatar

Can I ask, in regard to tipping, does the fact that you are paying for part of the waiter’s wage mean that the food is cheaper? I doubt it, but I wouldn’t know for sure.

jacksonRice's avatar

jonno, what do you mean? i figure they’re getting paid (they= waiters) very little or not at all, & the tips make up the vast vast majority of their wages. if we didn’t tip (see: outside the US), they would get paid more. i think the cost of the food would be the same…. did i misunderstand your question?

jonno's avatar

Well I meant that the restaurant is selling the food to you, and part of the money they make from this goes to the waiters’ wages. If tipping were suddenly abolished because the minimum wage for staff was raised, then the restaurant would have to get the money to pay their staff from somewhere – therefore the cost of food the restaurant sells would have to rise.

So basically, does the total amount you pay in a restaurant in America (including the tip) work out to be roughly the same as the total bill would be in another country where you don’t need to tip?

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