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31/12/2008 – In-Flight Etiquette : Tipping Flight Attendants Is Not OK
A recent topic on FlyerTalk regarding the tipping of flight attendants prompted me to revisit travel etiquette. The tipping of a flight crew for service is a topic that has been discussed often, and one I have been asked about a few times.
The answer to ‘should I tip the flight attendant is No. Not only is attempting to tip a flight attendant improper, but flight attendants are also not allowed to accept tips.
Even if you get upgraded to business or first class, even if the flight attendant gives you outstanding service, they should not be tipped. A flight attendants primary job is the safety and security of the passengers, with service technically being a secondary priority. Flight attendants, while they’re to serve you, are not waiters/waitresses in the sky.
Flying on a holiday when you know the flight attendant would rather be home? Got up graded to first class and you kept hitting the call button for more drinks? Thank them for their service. Have a nice box of candy, or some really good cookies? Leave the crew a box (sealed boxes only).
If you think you received absolutely exceptional service, get the flight attendant’s name (most all wear name tags) and send a note to the airline directly. I have done this a few times with flight attendants who really went above and beyond the service they are required to provide. Airlines do forward this information back to the flight attendant, and some airlines reward them when passengers praise them.
Etiquette can be a fine line when travelling, but proper etiquette is always good to know.