Have you ever tipped a flight attendant?
According to a new poll from Airfarewatchdog, the practice is not uncommon. Of the 900 flyers polled, 27 percent said they had tipped flight attendants in the past.
“A lot of flight attendants earn very little money, especially if they fly for regional airlines,” said Airfarewatchdog President George Hobica. “They used to get paid when they showed up for duty at the airport and now most airlines pay them only when the wheels are up … so they’re getting paid less, a lot of them have lost their pensions and perhaps it might not be a bad idea to tip them.”
Of course, flight attendants are primarily there to keep passengers safe. But Hobica says a tip, be it cash or cookie, is a good way to say thank you to a flight attendant for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“I flew recently on United Airlines and I brought a tin of those delicious Walker shortbread cookies - that were double factory sealed, by the way - and I offered that as a thank you for the flight attendants,” said Hobica. “I really think they have a really tough job. I know that some of them are a bit grumpy at times, but if you treat them well, they’ll treat you well.”
So how much should you tip a flight attendant? Hobica says he’s heard of people tipping anywhere between $50 and $100. Additionally, some airlines are offering coupons to their frequent fliers that they then give to flight attendants to reward exemplary service.
“We tip on a cruise, we tip at the hotel, we tip the shuttle van drivers at the airport,” said Hobica, “So why are we not tipping people who help us fly?”