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tipping for service

sydney
posts: 49
tipping for service

I searched earlier for United Airlines, we are booked on a domestic flight next year through a Star Alliance partner airline following an international flight to the USA. My understanding of one of the posts found was that passengers in premium classes should tip for pre flight drinks. for me this raises a couple of questions, firstly I assume pre flight drinks are those offered after boarding and finding allotted seats and secondly is it normal in the USA to tip for service, be it food or beverage, on domestic flights? Thanks.

44 replies to this topic
Altamonte Springs...
Destination Expert
for Saint Augustine
posts: 8,104
reviews: 22
1. Re: tipping for service

No need to tip any airline employees for any service. It simply isn't done. Enjoy your flight.

However, once your flight lands and you are on your own, so to speak, you may find this helpful.

Here is the TA National article on Tipping

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g191-s606/United-Stat…

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,474
reviews: 41
2. Re: tipping for service

I've never tipped anyone on an aircraft nor have I ever heard of anyone doing so. I doubt that airline employees would be allowed to accept tips.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 291
reviews: 279
3. Re: tipping for service

Think it may be talking about the lounges rather than on the flights - in United lounges regular beers and wine etc is free but tipping is expected

Rob

London.UK
posts: 3,886
reviews: 1
4. Re: tipping for service

Think it may be talking about the lounges rather than on the flights - in United lounges regular beers and wine etc is free but tipping is expected

Rob

=========================================================================

I'm just trying to get my head around the last three words there.

<< Tipping is expected >>

That alone would be enough to convince me the whole tipping culture in North America is seriously messed up. No longer even needs to be earned ( which is demeaning enough ), but is now expected ?? Please tell me that's not the case.

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,474
reviews: 41
5. Re: tipping for service

Tipping is expected in lounges? Really? You can't be serious?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,740
reviews: 5
6. Re: tipping for service

Alcohol in US airline lounges in the US are served at a bar, by a bartender who is probably earning not very much at all.

I tip $1 per drink, which is free and for which I'd be charged $8-9 at a bar on the concourse, so I'm still quids in.

When in America, do as the Americans do, as the saying goes .... sort of. :-)

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,474
reviews: 41
7. Re: tipping for service

I really don't want to open the tipping can of worms, but I'm genuinely surprised. I have always assumed that just like here, all lounge employees work for the airlines and get the standard airline salaries and all the benefits and travel perks that come with being an airline employee.

Edited: 1:12 am, November 09, 2013
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 13,092
reviews: 30
8. Re: tipping for service

Im wondering if its like a few of the outsourced Qantas lounges.

They have staff employed by Qantas to operate the service desks, but all the F&B staff are employed by Accor. I think ANA trialled something similar with Mandarin Oriental group a year or so ago, but that was strictly a trial and nothing more.

You're right, I too have never seen it before. I've used the Admitals Club at JFK a number of times, and didn't notice. But I don't drink frequently before a flight so don't really use the bar often.

Edited: 1:29 am, November 09, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,740
reviews: 5
9. Re: tipping for service

Eva, I believe lounge catering services are outsourced**.

If the bartender at a United Club gets to fly non-rev I'll consider not tipping them. If I ask them if they get free flights and get a nasty stare it may cost me more than $1 tip though. :-)

** - there was a huge hullabaloo recently when BA changed their catering supplier for their lounges at Heathrow. The local council rated the hygiene as well below standard, and they issued a groveling apology on FlyerTalk.

Edited: 1:35 am, November 09, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 46,021
reviews: 14
10. Re: tipping for service

Slighty OT, but I was a wee bit gobsmacked when I learned that in Admiral's Clubs visitors must pay for (some) food and drink. It smacks of minginess, but if that's the culture at AA so be it.

On the topic at hand, yes, there is a tip of sorts that one should give when offered a pre departure drink on board any flight. When offered (eg) champagne, water or juice one should say '[drink choice], please' then 'thank you very much' when it is presented. That'll do nicely.

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