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Should You Tip Hotel Staff (Even If Hilton’s CEO Doesn’t)?

Hilton Hotels chief executive Christopher Nassetta is retracting a statement he made about tipping at an industry conference. After telling an audience that he generally does not leave tips to housekeepers when he travels, the company leader now vows to leave a gratuity every time he travels.

The chief executive officer of Hilton Hotels is vowing to turn over a new leaf, after public backlash on a comment he made at an industry conference. Christopher Nassetta now says he will leave a tip for housekeeping employees when he travels, but only after he previously stated he generally did not.

According to a report from The Points Guy, Nassetta made the comments at the 41st Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. When asked about how much he leaves during a hotel stay, Nassetta said: “I typically do not leave a tip.”

Public comments forced Hilton to try and go a different way with the comments. First, the company attempted to clarify his comments. According to Travel + Leisure, the company said in a statement:

“Every Hilton Team Member works hard. Rather than selectively reward some Team Members, he is focused on providing meaningful economic opportunities for all 400,000 Team Members.”

However, the public pushback continued. And on June 9, 2019, the hotel chain issued another statement from Nassetta – this time, pledging to leave a gratuity every time he stays at a hotel.

“When it comes to tipping in hotels, I have always had a different approach to work and personal travel,” Nassetta said in the statement to The Points Guy. “I also never meant for my approach to work stays at Hilton properties to discourage others from tipping when they are traveling. Going forward, I will tip when traveling for both work and personal travel.”

Nassetta was speaking at the conference about Hilton’s strategy in Asia. According to The Real Deal, he told those in attendance that the hotel chain wanted to “build a very big network event” in China, which would lead travelers leaving the country to prefer staying at Hilton properties over other choices.


[Featured Image: Getty]

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cebootsw June 20, 2019

I used to tip $20.00 at the end of the stay, but because of reading the comments from this website in the past, I changed my habits to tipping $5.00 each day except the last, because that is the day of heavy lifting: all the sheets replaced, etc. So I still tip $20.00 on the last day. Before I leave for a trip, I make sure I have a stash of $5 bills ($5.00 is the new $1.00!). I learned to tip housekeeping from my Mom, decades ago. I try to leave a note which says, "For Housekeeping. Thank you! Gracias!" especially where I sense the housekeeping staff may be Spanish-speaking. I am amazed at the reaction of the housekeepers. They leave me wonderful thank you notes. I know I made their day! Also, I once left a pair of pearl earrings in a hotel, remembering only when we had just driven away. Turned around, went back into the hotel and explained my problem. The housekeeper was just finishing up my then-empty room, but she had already seen the tip I left. Not only was she extremely grateful, but she helped me look for the pearl earrings (which she had not yet seen). Sure enough, there they were, exactly where I left them. I think she was happier than I was to find them there and I believe she would have turned them in to lost and fund. Had a few similar experiences with my husband's clothing. I always err on the side of generosity, but then I once waitressed in a dive where tips were all we made and I never forgot how much I appreciated them.

alexmyboy June 17, 2019

I did recently as a Holiday Inn in Surfside, South Carolina, because they were short staffed and the hotel is run poorly.

donjo June 17, 2019

I have a tip for ya, plant your corn early

A Lyford June 17, 2019

Yes, we should eliminate tipping, but we can't because housekeeping jobs don't pay a living wage. We can't even provide national medical care to the working poor. And... housekeepers are often paid part-time wages. So they need a second job to get a forty hour work week. A life working low wage jobs always leads to poverty. It's a vicious spiral, and it traps women specifically because they are often single parents who HAVE to feed their children. So I always leave $5 every day my room gets cleaned. That's usually the last day of my stay, because I can clean up after myself. I leave my room in good order and dump my own trash. This practice actually helps keep me from leaving anything behind. I figure it takes a half hour to make my room ready for the next guest. $5 tax-free makes up for the wage disparity for that half-hour of work. Sometimes I need something extra, and I show my appreciation with money there too. I'm a child of parents who lived through the depression, so I'm not inclined to spend money frivolously. However, I refuse to allow my use of a hotel room to further impoverish the woman who cleans it just because few other job choices exist for her. $5 isn't much, and won't really solve her problems, but it could if all guests made a point to leave $5 every day their room was serviced.

Hondu54 June 17, 2019

In many of the replies, posters keep reiterating that a housekeeper is poorly paid. That she has a tough nasty job. That minimum wage is very low at $7.25. Yada yada. So why is that the customer's problem? If all these things mentioned are correct, why don't the employer pay the housekeeper an appropriate wage? It maybe because of the saying "there's a sucker born every minute." The tipping culture in the USA is perverse and need to go the way of the dodo bird. All businesses should charge the going rate for products and services and pay their employees properly.