Why aren’t we expected to tip flight attendants?

Yep, that’s  a serious question. Hear me out. I’m disgusted by the tip culture in the US, where you’re typically expected to tip when an employee is merely doing their job. I think most of us can agree that it’s out of hand. But this does raise a question: why the heck aren’t we expected to tip flight attendants? They take care of us for hours at a time, serve us meals (up front or on longhauls), constantly top off drinks, answer our questions, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy we don’t have to because I’d be broke, but I just don’t get it. Some people tip hotel maids for cleaning their rooms (even though they never come in contact with them), while they don’t tip someone that takes care of them for 16 hours.

This is certainly one way to weed out the bad apples and reward those that do a good job.

Filed Under: Misc.
  1. i agree. tipping is TOTALLY out of hand- i mean, a cut-off paper “tip” cup in a 7-11??

    so how would one go about tipping a FA if one wanted to?

  2. FAs are the first to point out that they are there primarily for our safety. Why would you tip someone who don’t even count service as their number one concern?

  3. Air Canada FAs will accept tips… but they go as a donation to their Children’s Charity that donates flights to terminally ill kids to Disney World.

  4. Considering the rarity of events that require the safety training that flight attendants go through, I would have to say, their primary function is the comfort of the passengers. Domestic flights aside, from drinks to food to blankets to headsets, etc, I think that the vast majority of international flight attendants provide a service that certainly warrants a tip.

    At times, their service can be overwhelming as they seem to have clocks that command them to monitor the cabin every 15 minutes or so to check if anyone needs anything in addition to the button calls.

    Speaking of which, I could use a waiter/waitress button at numerous restaurants where I can’t seem to track down my server for a refill or a condiment.

  5. We need a societal system like Japan – where tipping is considered insulting.

    Personally, I think it’s downright insulting to even ask for a tip – especially with the prominent signs in airport shuttle vans that indicate “gratuity not included.”

    Perhaps, it warrants a discussion of raising wages in general, but – let’s not go there ;).

  6. I don’t think tipping is out of hand at all. I much prefer our system to Europe’s. At least here you get to make the choice. In Europe they just include the tip into the bill. :rolleyes:

  7. Lots of tips=job insecurity. Tipping has gotten so out of hand that restaurants have already said that they want servers excluded from minumum wage — i.e. that they work for tips only. Restaurant tips used to be 10%, then 15%, and now expectations are going higher. It is COMPLETELY out of hand.

    Btw, can I get a tip for posting here?

  8. I agree, I don’t think counter employees should be tipped. I do leave a tip for the maid when I stay at a hotel, they work real hard for little money.

    As a FA, I don’t expect to be tipped. I have been tipped when I’ve taken care of heavy drinkers….usually in groups going on vacation, and then I will usually except it since they have me running the whole flight: )

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