When Is It OK To Tip A Flight Attendant? Print

Q: In my many decades of airline travel, most attendants have been considerate to me. However, now that I’m elderly, some have been extra understanding and very helpful. When that happens, should I offer a cash tip? MRMcK, Chicago IL

A: Most airlines officially forbid employees from taking tips. A few, such as Southwest, allow them to accept gratuities if the passenger insists. However, today’s average flight attendant’s annual salary is $60,000, plus many added benefits including free personal flights, dining and resort hotel stays. Do they need tips to supplement their income?

The travel4seniors.com answer: It’s your decision to tip when you believe the attendant went beyond the usual duties for your personal comfort and safety. Another way to reward the attendant is to send an email note to the airline identifying the employee by name with a favorable description of the extra services provided for you.