Should You Tip In Airport Lounges?

Should You Tip In Airport Lounges?

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Tipping etiquette when traveling can be a complicated and controversial subject. The more you travel, the more confusing it all is. I recently had a reader ask me about tipping etiquette when dining in American Airlines Flagship First Dining, so I figured I’d answer that question more broadly.

Should you tip in airport lounges, and if so, under what circumstances is it appropriate and/or expected?

Tipping in airport lounges is never expected

Let me state upfront that tipping is never expected in an airport lounge anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s not like dining in a restaurant in the United States, where you’re a jerk if you (knowingly) don’t tip, as servers aren’t even being paid minimum wage before tips.

As you might expect, though, the custom of tipping in airport lounges is very different depending on where in the world you are. So while no one tips in airport lounges in Japan, a lot of people do tip in airport lounges in the United States.

While tipping is never expected in airport lounges in the United States:

  • It certainly is appreciated for some kinds of services
  • People working in airport lounges are at least paid minimum wage (unlike restaurant servers), but of course minimum wage and a livable wage aren’t the same thing
  • For many airport lounge employees, tipping does make a significant difference to their bottom line and ability to provide for themselves and their family
  • You might think it’s mostly Americans tipping, but that’s not my understanding; based on what I’ve been told, it’s just as much foreigners, partly because they might not be familiar with US customs (other than knowing that you’re supposed to constantly tip), and also since they may have some leftover currency and might be leaving the country

Never feel like you have to tip, but also realize that tipping is appreciated under many circumstances, and it is a common practice.

American Flagship First Dining DFW

Under what circumstances should you tip in airport lounges?

Generally speaking, under what circumstances are tips common in airport lounges? I’d say there are a few different situations, so let’s go over those. I’m just sharing my take and observations, though again, I’m not claiming there’s a right or wrong answer.

When you are served a drink

In many airport lounges drinks are served by bartenders, so if you want a glass of wine or a cocktail, they’ll have to serve you. It’s not unusual to see people tip $1-3 per drink, with the lower end being common for pouring a glass of wine, and the higher end being common for a custom cocktail.

I know that some people who choose to sit at the bar in an airport lounge may just tip $20 upfront, and then they get amazing service the entire time. I’m not saying people should do that, but it is a common practice.

I’d say a similar tipping etiquette applies for the custom avocado toast station in the Admirals Club, especially if you don’t want them to be stingy with toppings. 😉

Many people will tip in airport lounge bars

When you have a sit-down meal

In the past several years we’ve seen an increase of airlines offering a la carte dining in lounges, whether we’re talking about American Flagship First Dining or United Polaris Lounges. This is a lovely experience, and in many cases offers restaurant-quality food, drinks, and service.

Assuming service is friendly and attentive, I’ll generally tip $10-20, depending on how much I eat and drink. Usually I try to tip around 20% of what I think a meal like that would cost in a restaurant outside an airport. I consider it to be a small price to pay for a great experience.

While we’re at it, there are many Priority Pass restaurants nowadays, where your Priority Pass membership gets you a certain dollar credit toward a meal. In those situations you absolutely should tip in the United States, since the credit is just another form of payment.

Tipping for a sit-down meal is appropriate

When you get a spa treatment

Admittedly these opportunities are pretty limited nowadays since many airport lounge spas were closed during the pandemic. However, some airport lounges do have spas with complimentary treatments. Tipping is appreciated here, and I’ll usually tip $5-10 for a mini-treatment. I try to think of how much a similar treatment would cost if paying cash, and then use the same 20% tipping rule.

Many people tip for airport spa treatments

When you get exceptional service

Even without a la carte dining or spa treatments, sometimes you have lounge employees who simply go above and beyond. They’ll constantly check on you, see if you want anything to drink, clear plates constantly, etc. Rumana at the Capital One Lounge DFW is the perfect example of this.

In these situations I think tipping as a sign of gratitude is a nice gesture, though also certainly not expected. Most of the people who are this friendly do so because they genuinely want to make other people happy, and not because they’re hoping to get a tip.

Tipping for exceptional service seems reasonable

What about lounge tipping outside the United States?

As mentioned above, the above guidelines are mostly for lounges in the United States, since we have a culture of tipping. What about outside the United States? Obviously I wouldn’t tip in a place like Japan for any services, as it would be considered rude.

What about aside from that, though? I typically don’t tip in airport lounges outside the United States, with the exception of when getting spa treatments. I personally feel good about tipping in those situations, though I also think it’s totally reasonable to not tip.

Aside from that, I don’t typically tip for dining and drinks in the same way I would in the United States.

I don’t tip in lounges outside the US in the same way

Bottom line

Tipping is never expected in airport lounges. However, depending on where in the world you are, it’s also not necessarily unusual to do so. In the United States it’s common to see people tipping a couple of dollars when a bartender pours a drink, or tipping a bit more than that for a sit-down meal or a spa treatment in an airport lounge.

Airport lounge employees are consistently paid at least minimum wage (unlike most restaurant workers), and many airports even have high minimum wages. However, a high minimum wage still isn’t going to be a livable wage in many places.

I know that in some lounges, guests tipping makes a material difference in how much people make, and helps airport lounges retain some good talent.

And let me say that even though I have my general “system,” I’m also not 100% consistent. Sometimes I don’t have small bills (or any cash), so I won’t tip. But I try to make up for it the next time, in hopes of it all balancing out.

What’s your approach to tipping in airport lounges?

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  1. Belinda Guest

    I leave some money on the table for the cleaners. I gave Anna from SFO $100 . Anyone know her? United Lounge. I can’t remember which one. Cutest little lady. She retired now. We would talk about Hong Kong because I was always coming or going. She would give us her lunch. Pork buns to eat on the plane. . Yum.

  2. Anthony Diamond

    The issue is that front line service jobs - bartenders, waiters, even stuff like flight attendants - is a job that seems to deserve well more than minimum wage (no matter what many think). Personable, attentive service in a client facing role has a lot of value. In the US, we pay for that value through tips. A good bartender or waiter making $100K-$150K in a high cost of living city is fair. Unfortunately we...

    The issue is that front line service jobs - bartenders, waiters, even stuff like flight attendants - is a job that seems to deserve well more than minimum wage (no matter what many think). Personable, attentive service in a client facing role has a lot of value. In the US, we pay for that value through tips. A good bartender or waiter making $100K-$150K in a high cost of living city is fair. Unfortunately we haven't trained the customer to pay $25 for drinks and $40 for chicken to fund those salaries, so tipping it is.

  3. Ti Guest

    This tipping culture is completely out of hand. Stop this and make employers pay their employees a living wage and stop offloading their operating business expense on its customers.

  4. Doctor Daigle Guest

    Wow - y’all some cheap SOBs. Guys, if you’re in an airport lounge, you’ve got access to resources that most don’t. Do you really care about $1, $5, $20, etc?

    Tip the bartender. Don’t be a chump.

    1. Clayton Guest

      So you're going to lecture others whilst perpetuating a system where you ALLOW people to be so poorly paid in the 1st place.

      There's a deep flaw in your faux-outrage.

      I'm not American and I, like most the world, don't tip in lounges anywhere in the world.

      As for "if you don't want them to be stingy with the toppings" - my answer to that is simple. If I'm not provided with...

      So you're going to lecture others whilst perpetuating a system where you ALLOW people to be so poorly paid in the 1st place.

      There's a deep flaw in your faux-outrage.

      I'm not American and I, like most the world, don't tip in lounges anywhere in the world.

      As for "if you don't want them to be stingy with the toppings" - my answer to that is simple. If I'm not provided with what I've asked for I'll request more is added. I'm not paying someone so they put a proper portion ony plate

  5. Patrick Guest

    I believe in tipping and being a server is hard work, especially now. However, let's stop perpetuating that servers are working below minimum wage. That is possible in some states (however the employer must ensure wages plus tips equal minimum). In many states, like California, servers are making minimum, which is $15 per hour, and making very solid tips. I'm happy for them, but the author has an outdated understanding of the restaurant industry.

  6. Norway Guest

    What about doing as rest of the world.
    Give normal salary to all workers, regardless of what kind of work.

    All workers are equal important.

  7. Peter Guest

    10-20 USD tip for an airline lounge meal??! When I go for a restaurant meal in London I pay that in total, including the food and service

  8. Bob Guest

    Once at Bahrain Airport, recently in fact, I tried tipping the lady in the lounge. She said I was too kind, and refused to take it from me. This is the kind of behaviour we should have in America and Canada.

  9. Hoosier in Paradise New Member

    $1 tip for a drink with alcohol.

  10. Nagoya Guest

    Thanks for addressing the ubiquitous quandary of lounge surfing; to tip or not to tip? Incidentally, I'm acquainted with Rumana in the CO lounge at DFW! She's always a tremendous host, consistently going the extra mile e.g. discerning my pastry preferences, then brown bagging some for the journey ahead.

  11. NYGuy24 Gold

    Don't understand the need to tip in an airport lounge. I'm already paying for access to the lounge probably way more than I am getting back in value. Now you want to have us subsidize their employees for food that at least in US lounges is almost always subpar compared to food I can get in restaurants outside the airport? Give me a break. Only exception to this may be the spa services, but seriously...

    Don't understand the need to tip in an airport lounge. I'm already paying for access to the lounge probably way more than I am getting back in value. Now you want to have us subsidize their employees for food that at least in US lounges is almost always subpar compared to food I can get in restaurants outside the airport? Give me a break. Only exception to this may be the spa services, but seriously if I am paying for a business or more importantly a first class ticket I shouldn't have to be shelling out additional compensation for the dining staff.

  12. Vito Guest

    For non-americans, this discussion makes no sense at all, whatsoever…

  13. George Romey Guest

    Of course for bar and shower services. Most complimentary food unless you're in a first class lounge on self serve.

  14. Shutterbug1952 Guest

    So you leave between 10 and 20 $ as a tip after a sit down meal in a lounge. Let's assume that not everybody would leave a tip and not everybody would tip so lavishly – still waiting on an average of 10 tables per hour a waiter should expect at least anywhere between 50 and 100$ in tips. Not bad for an hourly rate – after taxes!
    My daughter works in the hospitality...

    So you leave between 10 and 20 $ as a tip after a sit down meal in a lounge. Let's assume that not everybody would leave a tip and not everybody would tip so lavishly – still waiting on an average of 10 tables per hour a waiter should expect at least anywhere between 50 and 100$ in tips. Not bad for an hourly rate – after taxes!
    My daughter works in the hospitality business so I am aware of the relatively measly wages payed across the board, even on managerial levels. Very rarely tips are pooled (they should) and that leads to a complete distortion of the wage system, due to heavy tipping. A doorman at her 5* hotel makes more than a midlevel manager.
    Same I heard last year about high end restaurants in New York. A waiter waits on three to four tables per hour. Two or four guests ran up a bill of 300 to 500$ each and leave a customary 15 to 20% tip. Do the math.

  15. DLPTATL Gold

    It's customary in Delta's US SkyClubs to tip $1 per complimentary alcoholic drink. I don't mind the tipping at all because these bartenders and bussers are not Delta employees but instead work for a private contractor and do NOT receive the compensation and benefits of Delta employees.

    Quick tip, if you find yourself short on $1 bills, the bartenders in these clubs are always glad to provide change.

  16. Carrie Member

    As someone who lives in a country where tipping is considered an acknowledgement of superior service rather than an obligation, I will always adopt the customs of the country in which I find myself and that is an accepted travel experience .... but tipping in an airport lounge seems a blurred line in the travel realm. Do I tip in a Lounge of an airline based in America but is situated in another country? To...

    As someone who lives in a country where tipping is considered an acknowledgement of superior service rather than an obligation, I will always adopt the customs of the country in which I find myself and that is an accepted travel experience .... but tipping in an airport lounge seems a blurred line in the travel realm. Do I tip in a Lounge of an airline based in America but is situated in another country? To only tip the staff in a Lounge in America but not in another country seems hypocritical. Do I tip a staff member of a foreign based airline in an American based Lounge? Do I tip in a country where tipping is not part of the local country but part of the culture of the airline?
    I understand that the answer lies in the wage structure in each jurisdiction but it is an interesting question to pose and I have enjoyed reading the varying responses to the debate.
    And for those who think this is a sensationalist post, it is a genuine travel dilemma for those who travel to all parts of the world.

  17. Vistaro Guest

    Just pay people a living wage and stop this system that perpetuates the problem. It’s really just an American thing, everywhere else tips notional amounts when the service above and beyond. I simply can’t see why any mature country can justify paying people so little they have to rely on the good grace of others to live - it’s wrong!

  18. HM Guest

    “ of course minimum wage and a livable wage aren’t the same thing”

    Right there is the issue with tipping. It’s less about service and more that you know the employee is underpaid. So you tip so they can have a livable wage… everyone is okay with the customer being expected to subsidize the employer who paying an unlivable wage.

  19. Alex Guest

    The difference between a lounge and a restaurant is that you bought your entrance into the lounge by purchasing a flight ticket. Depending on booking class and/or status this includes access to the lounge and the services offered there. Thus, I do not see a need to tip - and I won't.
    There is an exception to my rule: if I get really excellent service I will tip. But more important: I will write a report to the airline.

  20. JustRetired Guest

    Having never ordered a drink at the bar, I can’t comment on tipping the bar tender. But the article seems to single out certain airport club service workers. What about the others, for example at the front desk, those that clean the tables/bathrooms, or behind the scenes food preparers? Unless the tips are pooled, they provide you service, but get nothing if you only tip your server.

    In the US, our tipping culture mostly the...

    Having never ordered a drink at the bar, I can’t comment on tipping the bar tender. But the article seems to single out certain airport club service workers. What about the others, for example at the front desk, those that clean the tables/bathrooms, or behind the scenes food preparers? Unless the tips are pooled, they provide you service, but get nothing if you only tip your server.

    In the US, our tipping culture mostly the fault of employers and to some extent, local governments. Employers can choose to pay a living wage and post signs or indicate on the menu that tips are not necessary. In the US, our culture is to not have the government setting the wages for most employees (other than those that work for the government or on government projects). Wages are left to the free market. There is a very low federal minimum wage that protects the most vulnerable employees from being taken advantage of. But, some local governments grant an exception to the minimum wage for restaurant workers. Therefore, these workers work for almost nothing from the employer, and depend on tips from the patrons. As an example, my son worked as a busboy for Outback Steakhouse while in college. He earned about $2/hour and because tips were pooled, he came home with about $4. Still less than a living wage, but he did get free food, and that was all he was really interested in. Regarding airline clubs, its only my guess that the employees are not exempted from the (miserly) minimum wage, and they are hopefully paid a living wage. If that guess is accurate, tips would not be anticipated.

    So, we should tip low paid service workers until the system is changed. This awful system is mostly the fault of employers and to a lesser extent, local governments. Employers can choose to pay a living wage and post signs or indicate on the menu that tips are not necessary. In the US, our culture is to not have the government setting the wages for most employees (other than those that work for the government or on government projects). Wages are left to the free market. There is a very low minimum wage that protects the most vulnerable employees from being taken advantage of. But, some local governments grant an exception to the minimum wage for restaurant workers. Therefore, these workers work for almost nothing from the employer, and depend on tips from the patrons. As an example, my son worked as a busboy for Outback Steakhouse while in college. He earned about $2/hour and because tips were pooled, he came home with about $4. Still less than a living wage, but he did get free food, and that was all he was really interested in.

    But in jobs where employers pay subpar, we should tip until the system is changed (or take our business elsewhere, where employees are fairly paid). The only way to change it isn’t to not tip (akin to wage theft), but to ask our government to require a fair wage for all typically tipped employees.

    1. Zoomer Guest

      Why is it the consumer's responsibility to keep tipping until the system is change. I feel like the system would change if consumers did not actually tip and employers were compelled to cover the difference and charge for their product appropriately.

      The consumer is not causing wage theft by withholding tips, rather enabling wage theft by the employer by providing a tip.

  21. portmanteau New Member

    I live in the US and have friends who are in the service industry. They are making BANK with tip ($70k+ annually). They work at a $$ restaurant, so nothing fancy.

    The ugly truth is that people in the service industry want tips because they make a lot more money with it than they would without it (i.e. if they were paid above minimum wage with benefits). I think tipping, the way it is implemented in the US, is detestable.

  22. Amiga Guest

    1. Please dear US friends do like the 8 billion people outside US: do NOT tip always, not that much. Leave it for exceptional service. If all restaurant/ bar staff quit because of not having minimal wage owners will be forced to pay them decently.
    2. Where do you stop? Because if you tip at lounge you must tip on the plane too...

  23. MeanMeosh Member

    $1 per drink for the bartender, $5 after the meal if sit-down dining is offered (i.e at a Polaris Lounge), and 20% of whatever the bill would have been when eating at a PP restaurant. Also, I have literally never seen or heard of anyone dropping $20 on the bartender when they sit down at the bar at an airport lounge. I'm not saying you made that up, but I question whether it's really "common...

    $1 per drink for the bartender, $5 after the meal if sit-down dining is offered (i.e at a Polaris Lounge), and 20% of whatever the bill would have been when eating at a PP restaurant. Also, I have literally never seen or heard of anyone dropping $20 on the bartender when they sit down at the bar at an airport lounge. I'm not saying you made that up, but I question whether it's really "common practice". I for one am not playing that game even if it is.

    Someone already mentioned this, but it is worth noting that in my experience, bartenders at Alaska Lounges will politely refuse tips when offered.

  24. Bill Cannedy Guest

    I received outstanding service from a barista at the Alaska lounge at SFO. He refused the tip but asked me to email Alaska and tell them about his service. I did so immediately and his service was recognized

  25. Blaz Guest

    Tipping in the US is simply diversion from the real problem..slave labour. At the very least, pay them the minimum wage, and make tipping discretionary based on exceptional service. I always wonder about the pilots that had tipping jars in the US (small flights) , or the toffee nosed waiters in high class restaurants.. are they really paid almost nothing? I find it hard to believe, but maybe 15%-20% of a $800 bill justifies their snobby attitude.

  26. Razzak Memon Guest

    I usually leave some low denomination foreign coins that I cannot exchange for US cash or use back in the US like Pakistani currency. It may encourage the recepient to travel to Pakistan to use it.
    If I don't have any, I leave them some quarters. Remember...its the thought that matters not the amount.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      No, it's the amount that counts! Leaving a few unwanted coins worth practically nothing is viewed as an insult worldwide.
      Do it properly or don't do it at all!

  27. dander Guest

    No I do not tip at lounges. I will not get extorted into giving a tip either at some toast bar. On the ither side of the coin, I have many times gone to a bar and ask for a glass of water to take medicine or soda water when I'm out with friends and get my tip refused. Saying that the tipping culture is out of hand in this country. I should not be...

    No I do not tip at lounges. I will not get extorted into giving a tip either at some toast bar. On the ither side of the coin, I have many times gone to a bar and ask for a glass of water to take medicine or soda water when I'm out with friends and get my tip refused. Saying that the tipping culture is out of hand in this country. I should not be guilt tripped into tipping my maid. However if I've been there for a week and the service has been excellent I will. In those cases I'll also let the front desk know.

  28. Steven E Guest

    I just find it so sad that a county as wealthy as the USA has to rely on people to subsidize other peoples wages because the powers that be can’t pay their own citizens a living wage

  29. henare Diamond

    So, what you've ended up saying here is that you tip like an American under any circumstance. Got it.

  30. Darren C Gold

    Self pour wine and beer, Coca Cola Freestyle, and buffet food should be the norm in the US, as in the LAX Star Alliance lounge and most lounges outside the US. No tipping needed.

  31. seanp78 Guest

    In the Polaris Lounge in the US, the only lounge I visit, I will tip $1 for drinks. Several times I haven't had $1 notes; no service difference whatsoever.

    I do not tip a the Polaris restaurant.

    Overseas - nada.

  32. Miamiorbust Guest

    Next post: should you tip bloggers? TPG2 sinking to yet another low. This blog has so lost any grasp of reality.

  33. Neil Guest

    It is amazing how shallow peoples existence must be if the great expectation of their lives is having a meal (food) in a Airport lounge and then worrying if they should leave a tip. For goodness sake , move on, aspire to greater things.

  34. view Guest

    No I don´t tip in a lounge, I just let them know I´m European and everybody is happy.

  35. Hiro Gold

    Alternatively, one can also write a compliment of a particular staff for the good service as feedback to the airline. Being recognized is probably more precious than one-off payment.

  36. RobASFO Guest

    When I flew AA First transcontinental and ate in the Flagship dining room area at JFK, I always left a tip, generally around $5. Since I rarely have a drink at a lounge, I usually don't tip. Just because you're getting the food and service without actually forking over cash for it doesn't mean the servers should be stiffed.

  37. Tevi Guest

    Tipping culture is getting out of control. I understand that US is centuries behind in providing equitable lifestyle but at some point this has got to stop. People's livelihood should not depend on how other people feel about themselves.

    1. Alinsfca Guest

      Funny thing is I think it is the younger people who tip more. I am not sure if it is to show that they are well off, proof that they care or they were brainwashed into it. When I talk to older more established guys they normally say if I have to walk up to order I generally won’t tip and if they tip it is no more than 20pct.

  38. Donna Diamond

    I go to an ATM about once a month to get cash for tipping and valet parking.

    I always tip the bartender in an airport lounge. I tend to fly through the same airports on the same airlines on the same days of the week and often run into the same servers who remember me and pour me a good cocktail. I tip at the hotel, tip Taxi drivers and also tip in restaurants...

    I go to an ATM about once a month to get cash for tipping and valet parking.

    I always tip the bartender in an airport lounge. I tend to fly through the same airports on the same airlines on the same days of the week and often run into the same servers who remember me and pour me a good cocktail. I tip at the hotel, tip Taxi drivers and also tip in restaurants in the EU.

    I worked my way through college as a waitress in a nice steakhouse and the generosity of those who tipped me helped me to have a great start in life and I will be forever grateful to each of them.

  39. RovinMoses Guest

    I tried to tip an an attendance in an Alaska Lounge and was told they do not accept tips. Others with same experience or has this changed?

    1. RovinMoses Guest

      "attendant" :-) No way to edit post.

    2. S_LEE New Member

      I had the same experience in SEA and asked why. She answered that all the Alaska lounge attendants are directly employed by the airline and that it's their employer's policy to not accept tipping.

  40. Minos Guest

    Tipping for the guacamode at a AA club?
    No thanks. This is not free guacamole, this is paying for the damm thing unless you give what a dime ? a quarter? Who tips a quarter?

    Remind me of the girl at the brand new UA EWR @Gate123 Club that just opened a week ago who, even before pouring my hot chocolate, told me that this is free but I need to tip. Well I...

    Tipping for the guacamode at a AA club?
    No thanks. This is not free guacamole, this is paying for the damm thing unless you give what a dime ? a quarter? Who tips a quarter?

    Remind me of the girl at the brand new UA EWR @Gate123 Club that just opened a week ago who, even before pouring my hot chocolate, told me that this is free but I need to tip. Well I taught that arrogant chick some manners. I let her pour the drink and prepare it, and then left her with the drink.

    1. dander Guest

      good for you. My wife hired a guy to mow our lawn and weed, he took his sweet ass time and used our trash bags. My wife handed over the money and he had the balls to ask for a tip. This is after she fed him

    2. glenn t Diamond

      Wife should have demanded tip from him for the food service surely? LOL

  41. Alan Gold

    "Priority Pass restaurants nowadays, where your Priority Pass membership gets you a certain dollar credit toward a meal. In those situations you absolutely should tip in the United States, since the credit is just another form of payment"
    I know of no other form of payment where you cannot include a tip (i.e. credit card). Priority really should allow a reasonable tip to be included if you havent maxed out the credit.

    1. AC Guest

      So buy enough to be a few dollars over the $28 (or so) credit then add the tip on what the total amount would be - easy.

      If don’t charge the full amount leave $6 or so (20%) on the table

  42. Jan Guest

    Sorry, i am fine with tipping in us restaurants or bars where it is expected. I dont like this tipping culture but i give my 20%.

    But never in a lounge. As i german i would never come to this idea in a senator or lufthansa first class lounge. And so i will not tip in ans other lounge arround the world.

    Why you have allways to tip if people give you nice service?

    1. Chris_ Member

      That would be like a person from Japan saying "I don't tip at home so I won't tip at a restaurant in the United States."

      Just because you don't tip in lounges in Germany does not mean that you're not expected to tip bartenders and servers in lounges in the United States.

    2. Jan Guest

      With a tip in my view you are insulting people. You show them that they are minor and have less money than you. I never in my life accepted a tip even when i was helping out somewhere in my college time.

      I understand how it is in the states but it is not the way it should be. Do you only be nice to people and help them out if they give you money for that. What a bad world.

  43. CR Guest

    Also, tipping helps keep the prices lower for the consumer. That is the original reason. You don’t have to eat at restaurants, clubs, bars etc. Give those serving YOU a break folks.

    1. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      It does not actually keep them lower, it only allows for businesses to advertise them falsely at what seems like a cheaper price.

  44. Bob Guest

    Its not tipping that's the cancer, it's the expectation of a tip for nothing.

    Tipping should be for above and beyond service not for pouring a drink or bringing you a plate that's part of a job you're paid to do.

    But idiots will continue tipping so its not going away.

    1. Alan Gold

      So true. I absolutely hate the expectation in the US. Soon enough patrons will just double the bill!

    2. Alinsfca Guest

      Well we are almost there in San Francisco. Some restaurants add 5 pct so call SF mandate for health insurance, which is taxable. Sales tax is almost 10 pct and if the restaurant has the nerve to suggest 25 pct after tax the total add on will be more than 40 pct. That’s why I rarely go out in the city any more. I just drive down the peninsula.

    3. Alinsfca Guest

      That is so true.

      I go to Chinese restaurants and some have suggested tips at 18/20/25 pct after tax (since when you add tips to tax?). Even high end restaurants only add 18 pct tips and we all know what kind of service you get at regular Chinese restaurants!

    4. Ignorant?!? Guest

      Racist much? It is like that in most of the food places now. What is your reason for single out Chinese restaurant when a lot payment app are default like that?

  45. Pierre Guest

    At Doha, Al Mourjan Qatar business lounge, where the service is excellent.,
    I use to tip 5$ to the shower attendant for the cleanness of the shower cabin. It’s well appreciate

  46. Eskimo Guest

    So a question for people who tips the bartender.

    Do you still tip if you get ONLY water or soft drinks?

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Also do you tip a lounge barman who pours you an end-of-bottle glass of champagne, not really chilled and bereft of bubbles?
      I certainly hope you would not!
      However should they open a fresh, chilled bottle at your suggestion I guess you've set yourself up for a tip!

  47. dana Guest

    I tip at the Delta Sky Club when ordering a drink. If it's free, why not give the server a few bucks? If it is a premium drink, a few $$ goes a long way the next round. The people I feel the most compelled to give something to are those cleaning up after everyone. My husband always gives one of these people a $20. Having been a waitress in my youth, and he a...

    I tip at the Delta Sky Club when ordering a drink. If it's free, why not give the server a few bucks? If it is a premium drink, a few $$ goes a long way the next round. The people I feel the most compelled to give something to are those cleaning up after everyone. My husband always gives one of these people a $20. Having been a waitress in my youth, and he a bag boy when he was 14, we know how good it feels to be appreciated. If you can't give $$, express your gratitude with words and give someone a boost.

    I tipped my dedicated La Premiere escort at CDG ONLY after asking him if he accepted a gratuity. The service was so outstanding from arriving, document checking, VAT assistance, Security escort, handling luggage, getting us to the lounge and then to the plane. We are kind of old, so this makes a huge difference to us. He said it wasn't necessary at all, but would leave that up to me. I don't remember tipping at other European lounges.

  48. alsfca Guest

    I tip bar tenders for a beer at the lounge, but I think this tipping thing needs to stop.

    I remember a few years ago I treated myself to Air France La Premiere. At SFO, the Air France lady walked me and another guy to the plane. I walked ahead first and the lady was walking with the other guy. I got onto the plane and remembered I forgot to thank the lady, so I...

    I tip bar tenders for a beer at the lounge, but I think this tipping thing needs to stop.

    I remember a few years ago I treated myself to Air France La Premiere. At SFO, the Air France lady walked me and another guy to the plane. I walked ahead first and the lady was walking with the other guy. I got onto the plane and remembered I forgot to thank the lady, so I turned around and saw the other guy pressing a $20 to the lady who was refusing to accept profusely. I literally had to roll my eyes.

    1. Jan Guest

      Right so. i would see that as an insult. He lets the lady know that he is better then her. In such situations tipping is insulting people.

  49. Vijay Guest

    No one is being paid minimum wage anymore in the USA. If you are, you are a moron. Entry level fast food is 13$/hour. In case you haven't noticed, the labor market is completely on its head after covid and its a great time to be looking for a better paying job.

    Tipping is a separate issue but stop perpetuating the myth that lounge workers are working for minimum wage. I guarantee no one is.

    1. AC Guest

      In many states there is a sub minimum wage servers get that May only be $2-$3 an hour. They make it up w tips. Yes fast food and other locations have raised salary to attract workers but tipped workers still make very low wages in most places. And they aren’t morons to work for that - it is part of the overall comp package they sign up for

    2. Mark Guest

      How is someone at an airline lounge pouring you a drink any different from a flight attendant making a drink for you mid-flight? I would argue that there is no difference whatsoever. I always tip flight attendants in the US a buck for bringing me a drink. You wouldn't believe the shocked reactions I get.

    3. Vijay Guest

      Your comment is irrelevant to the point of the post. We're not talking about waitstaff industry. Lucky makes the claim that lounge staff are being paid minimum wage which I would call nonsense in this day and time. And yes, I would still maintain that if you're a waiter and you can't make more than 8$/hour between your wage and tips, you are a moron.

  50. Cbchicago Guest

    Yes you should because you can afford it. TIPS - To insure proper service. I do and it’s appreciated. Ps. Not everyone has an overpaid job

  51. Polly Onion Guest

    Yeah...keep this tipping trend going and mess it up for the rest of us. Soon they will all expect tips. Good job!

  52. Jerk Guest

    I do not tip and I am against of " US forced tipping culture". People are hired and agreed to fullfill their job obligations at highest level. Customers should not pay additionally for anything that comes with services and/or food purchased per price list and taxes. The minimum and living wage are the owners and employees problem, not the customer. When employee agrees to work for minimal wage, it is his/her decision, not something that...

    I do not tip and I am against of " US forced tipping culture". People are hired and agreed to fullfill their job obligations at highest level. Customers should not pay additionally for anything that comes with services and/or food purchased per price list and taxes. The minimum and living wage are the owners and employees problem, not the customer. When employee agrees to work for minimal wage, it is his/her decision, not something that every single customer must be responsible of.

  53. David M Hoffman Guest

    The sit down dining trend in lounges needs to end. Unless you have a physical condition that limits your mobility you are quite capable of competing with your fellow loungers at the various buffets or pandemic packaged ration stations. You want medium well done ribeye steak with mashed vegetables, rolls, and three different types of wine? Go to one of the restaurants in the airport. The lounge is a refreshment pit stop, not a bed and breakfast.

  54. Miramar Guest

    Unless and until the world turns Japanese (great 80s song) so service workers are paid properly and tipping culture ends, tip generously in proportion to your means. And then donate even more generously to Oxfam, UNICEF, NRDC and Oxford’s Future of Humanity institute.

  55. riku Guest

    The story is a real insight into american service culture. Do you tip flight attendants too since they are providing a service. Having visited many lounges around the world (including those with table dining service) it never even occurred to me to tip anyone in the lounge.

    1. TD Guest

      Frontier expects it now. Ordered a $3.25 small coffee and the FA handed the credit card swiper with the tip request. Of course, out of guilt for being cheap, I tipped. Tipping is way out of control in the US.

  56. Alonzo Diamond

    Yes, I will tip a few bucks if I get a bartender made drink or glass of wine.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Alonzo

      Ofcourse. Goes without saying. Good comment.

  57. D3kingg Guest

    Yes , if I order a drink at the bar in an airport lounge I tip. If I’m waited on in a first class dining lounge area I tip. Self service I do not.

    If you want to be a cheap fill in the blank it’s between you and god.

    1. Rossitza Guest

      Those jobs are highly sought after due to the amount of money the employees can make in tips. The employees are paid the same wages as other hourly airline agents in the airport.

  58. Al Guest

    Of course not. Stop perpetuating this stupid system and people will get paid properly.

    1. Donna Diamond

      And you will be paying more for your food and booze. Zero sum game.

    2. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Yes but workers will no longer be beholden to the whims of customers to receive their compensation. The racial and gender discrepancies of tipping are documented. It well nigh time to do away with a system that was designed to oppress freed slaves.

  59. Radu Guest

    What the hell is "amazing service" at a lounge bar? Like what 3 key things you get for those 20$?

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Agree. You'd need to be a total barfly sitting at a bar for hours ordering custom-made cocktails to justify slapping 20 bucks on the bar to keep the drinks flowing.
      Most people are in for a bite and a drink or two, and out. It's an airport lounge for god's sake, not some downtown piano bar!

  60. Bruce Guest

    There is no “culture” of tipping. Tipping was forced on to consumers because companies want to get away with not paying their employees enough, and they shift responsibility on to the consumer. WRONG. The tipping custom is fabricated. I tip when I get above average service in a restaurant or hotel, and I know people appreciate it. But no, I should not be EXPECTED to tip anywhere. People should get paid living wages. Please, Americans, acquire some common sense.

    1. Joshua Member

      I don’t disagree with the main idea behind your comment, it sucks to depend on the customer to leave extra money behind above the stated bill. but, make no mistake, do away with tipping and that missing 18% will immediately get added to your bill to cover the “raise” in overhead to pay staff better.

      One way or another the customer is going to pay, not the company.

    2. ArthurSFO Member

      @Joshua

      I agree that all or most costs will be passed on to the customer, but tipping is a messed up practice that needs to end.

      Everyone deserves to be paid fairly and predictably for the work they do, and not based on a stranger's mood in the moment.

      It's also absurd how much tips only keep getting bigger and bigger. 20 years ago, the standard was 10%. Now any less than 20% and people...

      @Joshua

      I agree that all or most costs will be passed on to the customer, but tipping is a messed up practice that needs to end.

      Everyone deserves to be paid fairly and predictably for the work they do, and not based on a stranger's mood in the moment.

      It's also absurd how much tips only keep getting bigger and bigger. 20 years ago, the standard was 10%. Now any less than 20% and people think you're despicable. It's not uncommon to see suggested tips of 25-30%.

      It's gonna be really silly when we're expected to tip 80-100% in the future.

    3. alinsfca Guest

      That is very true. But I think the companies that are pushing tip is not just the restaurants themselves. I think the credit card companies are even worse. I remember years ago in Europe you ask for the credit card slip, sign it and there is no place for adding tips, and no one ask for tips either. Now, the credit card machine added a step for the waiters to ask for tips before signing off.

    4. dander Guest

      Tipping started during prohibition because the clubs couldn't sell alcohol only soft drinks. Its now gotten out of hand

    5. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      It did not, look up how Pullman exploited freed slaves by using tipped minimum wages.

  61. brianna hoffner Member

    Stories about tipping always get lots of engagement because people feel this strong need to evangelize their personal outlook on them even though basically no one is capable of changing their mind about the topic.

  62. Icarus Guest

    Absolutely not. I detest this American tipping culture because service workers are so poorly paid in the US, it’s an expectation for doing their job.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Icarus

      If you want to be against tipping take it out on American and corporate culture but I wouldn’t on a low wage worker who is trying to make a living and ends meet. Tipping is customary in the US I don’t know what else to say. Restaurant workers and hospitality professionals Tips are part of their wage by no fault of their own.

  63. Joe Guest

    No. Tipping is the cancer of American service industry. And hopefully it never spreads elsewhere.

  64. Joe Guest

    I have never tipped in a lounge.... until earlier this month in the BA JFK Concorde Room. There was a waitress who was just so naturally pleasant, radiant and kind that I gave her the last bit of cash I had in my pocket from my trip. Lounges (especially the BA Concorde Rooms!) are often full of such moody and surly people that the staff end up mirroring it. Was nice to interact with someone...

    I have never tipped in a lounge.... until earlier this month in the BA JFK Concorde Room. There was a waitress who was just so naturally pleasant, radiant and kind that I gave her the last bit of cash I had in my pocket from my trip. Lounges (especially the BA Concorde Rooms!) are often full of such moody and surly people that the staff end up mirroring it. Was nice to interact with someone who genuinely just wanted to smile and do a good job. She definitely didn't expect it, but deserved every cent.

    1. StarAdmiral Guest

      Exactly why tipping should be abolished. It's discriminatory. People who are more "radiant" making more than others for the same job. Numerous studies have shown that waiters and waitresses are more likely to be described with such words such as radiant and kind if they are white and attractive.

    2. Joe Guest

      lol. The waitress was black. And still radiant. But thanks for your input

    3. ArthurSFO Member

      @Joe

      It doesn't look like StarAdmiral is saying *you* only tipped her because she was white and/or attractive.

      He just stated the researched fact that, *in aggregate,* tipping reinforces sexism, ageism, racism, and other bad practices.

      Your example is really positive, but the anecdotal evidence doesn't disprove scientific research.

    4. jetjock64 Guest

      By and large, those against tipping generally tend to be Republican--they also tend to be cheap, and not care so much about those at a lower station in life. For example, I have a Republican son-in-law who hates . . . hates . . . tipping and taxes, and I think of him as fairly representative.

    5. AC Guest

      FYI lifelong Republican and very good tipper (including always leaving a tip for hotel maids). Many Republicans have money and understand social conventions. Also most aren’t “cheap”. However there are some subsets of the typical Democratic voter that definitely are cheap and don’t tip.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Al Guest

Of course not. Stop perpetuating this stupid system and people will get paid properly.

13
Radu Guest

What the hell is "amazing service" at a lounge bar? Like what 3 key things you get for those 20$?

7
Bruce Guest

There is no “culture” of tipping. Tipping was forced on to consumers because companies want to get away with not paying their employees enough, and they shift responsibility on to the consumer. WRONG. The tipping custom is fabricated. I tip when I get above average service in a restaurant or hotel, and I know people appreciate it. But no, I should not be EXPECTED to tip anywhere. People should get paid living wages. Please, Americans, acquire some common sense.

7
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