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I saw an interesting discussion on the excellent Travel Hacking 101 Facebook group the other day about tipping flight attendants.  You can see the post here, but you (probably?) have to be a member of the group to see it (it’s free)

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Is tipping flight attendants a thing?

Now, I am a frugal sort of guy, and I’ve mentioned before that I think the whole US tipping culture is ridiculous.  It would be my preference to just have a price for things and have employers pay their employees reasonably.  However I know in US

That doesn’t mean that I never tip anywhere, and in fact have a whole post about who and how much you are supposed to tip your Amtrak attendants.   But this was the first I had ever heard of people tipping flight attendants!

[Flight attendants hate when you order Diet Coke -10 shocking flight attendant secrets]

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Responses on if you should tip flight attendants

Here are some of the responses from the Facebook post

  • Quite honestly, never heard of it, or considered it. If there were extenuating circumstances I might try, but I am sure airline policy discourages it.
  • My wife and I occasionally bring some chocolate for our flight staff- for long haul flights. We read about it someplace & have done it a few times. Never really noticed better service as a result. We usually gift it early on in the flight.
  • I usually bring chocolates for the cabin crew on long-haul flights. They are always appreciative.
  • I have a few $5 gift cards that I will give to really amazing FAs or customer service agents. DL only gives me two job well done certificates and those run out pretty quickly.
  • I work for an airline, and fly primarily ultra long haul international flights in and out of San Francisco. Tipping is not something our airline encourages, nor are we technically allowed to accept. However, we don’t refuse after the second offer, as to not be rude. The best thing you can do is bring chocolates with a note attached stating your seat # and or name. Usually those on my flights who do this get treated like absolute royalty no matter their class of cabin
  • Short hauls always $5, and $20 for long hauls. It makes their day and mine for bringing on the smile.
  • I leave nothing. It should be that way. Flight attendant tipping should not be allowed. If so then people would be tipping to get seat upgrades.  The response to this was “Do you tip your hotel maid“.
  • We are not allowed to accept tips, but I know FAs who have been offered tips and they are appreciated. It is not a common practice, and we certainly don’t expect it. We don’t normally have the authority to upgrade pax while the boarding door is open. That is the responsibility of the gate agent. We do appreciate non edible gifts. Starbucks gift cards, mints, movie theater passes, gift cards, etc. I’ve seen chocolates get passed around and then left on the aircraft for the next crew.

Your turn: Do you tip flight attendants?  With what?

Now I’m curious to hear your take on tipping flight attendants.  Have you ever tipped a flight attendant, and if so, how much (and what?).  If you are (or have been) a flight attendant – what’s your take?  Were tips allowed, expected and/or appreciated?

Leave your flight attendant tipping stories in the comments!

Flight attendant from Flickr Via CC 2.0 license

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