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Do You Tip Flight Attendants?
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While many potential travelers are delighted to find cheap travel deals, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages, when it comes to service provided while in the air they are sometimes less pleased.
Many fliers have started to wonder whether tipping flight attendants is appropriate or might make a flight more pleasant. A recent survey found that 27 percent of respondents said that they had previously tipped a flight attendant. The reasons for tipping ranged from a “thank you” for doing a good job or because a flight attendant had gone out of her or his way to make the passenger more comfortable.
According to the Association of Flight Attendants, its members do not accept tips. Flight crews have acknowledged that periodically they see travelers offer cash and gifts.
Apparently the practice of tipping occurs most frequently on Las Vegas routes. Interestingly most tipping passengers are in economy class.
Airline industry policy is not to accept tips. However, many attendants appreciate it when a passenger makes such a gesture.
While most flight attendants claim that they will not accept tips, some have admitted that they will accept a tip if it is offered repeatedly and ultimately shoved into a hand or pocket. Flight attendants have commented that refusing an insistent flier who wants to tip ultimately feels as if they are being rude if a tip is not accepted.
Etiquette experts claim that it is not expected or necessary to tip flight attendants.
The median annual salary of a flight attendant was $37,740 in 2010, with entry level positions starting as low as $16,000. The reason tipping in the air is not customary, or expected, is that flight attendants are paid a livable wage, unlike servers in a restaurant.
A flight attendant’s primary responsibility is to maintain the safety and security of passengers on the plane. All other duties, including distributing drinks and food, and collecting garbage as the flight progresses are secondary.
Some etiquette experts contend that there is not a circumstance where it would be appropriate to tip a flight attendant and recommend against tipping.
However, a passenger who received outstanding service from a crew member should consider contacting the customer service section of the airline’s website and write a complimentary note, including the date of the flight, flight number, and airline employee’s name.
Positive customer feedback can affect flight attendant careers as well as simply let them know that they are appreciated.
Remember, simple words such as “please” and “thank you” are greatly appreciated and can go a long way towards improving your flight experience particularly since flight attendants do not tend to hear such words very often. A passenger with nice manners stands out on a plane.
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