Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Q: Is It OK To Tip A Helpful Flight Attendant?
Q: Is It OK To Tip A Helpful Flight Attendant? PDF Print E-mail

Whenever I fly I need help. Now in my 80s, I’ve difficulties walking, stowing carry-ons and other air travel challenges. My experiences with the crews have been mixed.

Some deliberately ignore me or pretend to, and I have to lift my bag and make my way as best as I can. Others rush over with a smile and assist me. In those cases, I’ve offered tips, but they’re usually refused. I know flight attendants aren’t waiters or bartenders, but they do a hell of a lot more and deserve our thanks and more. What do you suggest? PPJ, Milwaukee WI

A: Flight attendants usually don’t expect tips, and in some airlines, they’re actually forbidden from accepting them. However, if you make it a private conversation away from your seat during a non-busy time during the flight, and insist on giving the tip, it may be accepted.

Another idea is what some retiree flyers practice when they receive exceptional service from attendants. They carry and give small items, such as t-shirts, sweaters, handkerchiefs, scarves or pairs of gloves. Also, they ask attendants’ names and send favorable Emails about them to the airline.

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