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Can I give a tip or gift to a flight attendant?

Can I give a tip or gift to a flight attendant?

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Old Mar 8, 18, 8:41 am   -   Wikipost
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American Airlines' Employee Tip and Gifts Policy

AA employees
(contract employees not included) are not allowed to accept cash or gift cards.

American Airlines limits the value of gifts to employees to $25.


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Old Jul 21, 16, 2:13 am
  #1  
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Can I give a tip or gift to a flight attendant?

Is it ever OK to tip your FA? I imagine it would be very awkward and maybe even offensive. I would never tip anything less than $20 if I did. And I would only offer it for extremely good service. However, I think most FAs would feel demeaned by it. Have any of you ever tipped a FA and what was the reaction?
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Old Jul 21, 16, 2:20 am
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Technically, its not allowed, but if you insist, we are not to embarrass you, and politely accept
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Old Jul 21, 16, 7:30 am
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Ironically, I suspect many of the line holder int'l senior mama types (who started in this industry in a very different time-when expectations and norms were very different) would be offended yet most new hires barely scraping by flying high times would be put off but graciously accept it.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:23 am
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No actual airline employees (ticket/gate agents, AAngels, FAs, pilots, ramp crews) should be tipped with cash. They are professionals who receive salaries, and as noted above, they might be quite offended if you try to slip them cash. If you want to offer a special thanks to your flight attendants, give them a token gift--box of cookies/chocolates, Starbucks card, etc, along with a promise to write a nice note to their supervisor about their great work. I have done so a few times and they are always very appreciative. But never cash.


However, it is worth saying in this thread you SHOULD tip contract service workers (bartenders, janitorial staff who pick up your glasses in the lounges, shower attendants, etc). They earn very low wages from the subcontractor and are absolutely appropriate to tip in cash for the type of work they do.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 8:52 am
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<redacted>

+1. It is crass and vulgar.

Edit: It would be more appropriate and constructive to help their careers by contacting AA to applaud their good work.

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 21, 16 at 10:20 am Reason: Redacted previously deleted post content
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Old Jul 21, 16, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by IflyonAA View Post
+1. It is crass and vulgar.

Edit: It would be more appropriate and constructive to help their careers by contacting AA to applaud their good work.
This. A note to AA will do more for them and good god please lets not make in-flight tipping a thing now.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by nelsoji View Post
This. A note to AA will do more for them and good god please lets not make in-flight tipping a thing now.
How will it help? Isn't everything (e.g. raises, schedules) determined by seniority?

Also, I always think it odd that people say no cash tipping but a Starbucks (or whatever) gift card is fine. Seems like a distinction without a difference!
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Old Jul 21, 16, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
No actual airline employees (ticket/gate agents, AAngels, FAs, pilots, ramp crews) should be tipped with cash. They are professionals who receive salaries, and as noted above, they might be quite offended if you try to slip them cash. If you want to offer a special thanks to your flight attendants, give them a token gift--box of cookies/chocolates, Starbucks card, etc, along with a promise to write a nice note to their supervisor about their great work.
That is a very clear articulation of a very American point of view on this widespread American custom. ^
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Old Jul 21, 16, 10:52 am
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Get rid of 'tips' as the norm

Pay employees a decent wage and stop this tipping nonsense.
Look to OZ...they do a job and get on with it. A 'tip' is for exceptional service...
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Old Jul 21, 16, 10:58 am
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Ugh this society with tipping is out of control. Im offended when I see a tip jar at Starbucks or the car hop at the Sonic expects a tip. You hand me a drink is not a tippable service, it's called doing your job.

The worst is Marriott's tip envelopes at their hotels. Why would I be tipping them to do their job? My room is almost always made when I leave during the day, there is 1 towel on the floor to be replaced, and all of my toiletries are neatly laid out on a towel in the bathroom.

The craze of American corporations "charging customers the same" but shifting wages onto customers through tips is insane.

And to keep this relevant to the topic, airline employees are absolutely forbidden to take anything of value. AA has a VERY STRICT HR policy (for ethics) that forbids any cash gifts (or gift cards), and incidental value gifts to I believe $20. For good reason. There's a very slippery slope from a small tip to an outright bribe.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 1:38 pm
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I haven't personally done it, but I can't imagine the attendants being offended. If another passenger gets offended by me tipping for great service they should mind their own business.

FWIW, my mom was an attendant on Continental and specifically mentioned when customers tipped since it was relatively rare. It was one of the few bright spots she could share about her otherwise difficult and repetitive job.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 1:40 pm
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Also, I always think it odd that people say no cash tipping but a Starbucks (or whatever) gift card is fine.
Not to mention, who carries around a spare Starbucks gift card or two just in case they need to tip their flight attendant. Pretty silly distinction some people are drawing.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by imapilotaz View Post
The worst is Marriott's tip envelopes at their hotels. Why would I be tipping them to do their job? My room is almost always made when I leave during the day, there is 1 towel on the floor to be replaced, and all of my toiletries are neatly laid out on a towel in the bathroom.

The craze of American corporations "charging customers the same" but shifting wages onto customers through tips is insane.
I don't like American tip culture any more than you do but feel compelled to point out that tipping the chambermaid at high-end hotels has been custom here since long before Marriott started using tip envelopes.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 2:48 pm
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You can.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 3:18 pm
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Count me in the "awkward and potentially patronizing/offensive" camp. Tipping has gotten ridiculous, anyway. If I tipped for every business flight I took, I wouldn't make rent.

Getting a PDB and several refills throughout the course of a midcon flight should not require a tip. Simply following service standards should not constitute "exceptional service," although that's what it seems like these days.

Originally Posted by imapilotaz View Post
The craze of American corporations "charging customers the same" but shifting wages onto customers through tips is insane.
Right on.
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