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December 20, 2013


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I agree tipping is way out of control. Next the TSA agents will expect a tip. What I don't like is when carryout food places have signs that say we expect a 10% tip. I've even seen this at a few pizza joints.

A recent Bogleheads forum discussed tipping movers. I've ALWAYS tipped movers, so I was surprised to see some people say they didn't think you needed to. What does everyone here think?

(P.S. Tipping flight attendants is ridiculous, expect MAYBE for alcohol service....even then, it's dubious, since that's fully part of the job and included in their pay. Waitresses/barbers are paid less intentionally because it's expected they will make tips....with flight attendants that's simply not the case)

Ummm... I guess it depends on a variety of factors. What level of service do you expect while you are flying? What level of service did you receive? How are you flying (first class?!). Do you have the money to tip? I don't think it is a rule that can be written in stone.

I am considered an "over-tipper" by my family. I always get weird looks. I consider it part of our "giving" - and more importantly, I want to reward excellent service (as a way of promoting more of it in the world!!).

I have never tipped a flight attendant - but then again - I have never received above-and-beyond service in this space either (I have been on about 6 flights total). I would probably tip $20-$40 for exceptional service from a flight attendant.

In Mexico you do actually tip at the grocery store (baggers) every single time ;-) It's their only source of income.

On the other hand - I have tipped much less for horrible service as well...

Tipping is a personal thing - if you feel like someone has served you well, it's probably a good idea to tip them. After all, the dollar is nothing more than a, "certificate of appreciation" :-)

I would tip too and would just consider it giving.

Chadnudj -

Funny you should ask, since we just went through a move.

We didn't tip the movers who packed and moved us down here. Honestly, I didn't even think of it. We were so frenzied, we were lucky to escape the process with our sanity.

When the movers moved us in (a different group at our new location), however, we did tip them. They were very professional, kind, and handled our stuff delicately. We were less frazzled as well and it all just came to my mind that we should give them something extra. It wasn't much - we gave $50 to a group of five guys - but was something to show our appreciation.

The strangest to me is when your in Europe and there is a bathroom attendant that you are suppose to tip.

I've never tipped flight attendants, but we do make it a habit of tipping movers and crews that we hire for a job (I'm thinking of the 5 man crew that took down a row of trees for us). In both of those cases, we made sure that each guy on the job (which took a few hours) left with a $20 in his pocket. I don't know how that compares to everyone else, but it ended up being between 10-20% of the overall total and felt like the right thing to do.

At Christmas we tip our waste haulers. They show up every week without fail and the poor guy who hangs off the back of the truck whether it is raining, snowing or 98 degree heat... he has my respect.

I agree that tipping has gotten rather ridiculous, and has become too much of an obligation for many services (food service, obviously, being the exception).

My main issue with tipping is for services I would rather do myself or something that is for a very short time interval. Tipping the airport shuttle driver for getting a bag out of a van or tipping the cashier at a takeout register seems a bit too much. I would rather get my own bag and I'm clearly picking up my own food, so I don't see a need to tip for it.

My family immigrated here when I was 8 years old, so I also wasn't raised with the same tipping mentality as many Americans. We learned early on about tipping at restaurants, but I didn't learn about things such as tipping taxi drivers until my late 20s. It was a rather unpleasant lesson when I learned that from an irritated taxi driver.

I tip our mailman and have got to know him quite well. If we have a package he rings the door bell and hands it to us since we are always home when he arrives. This is especially nice because we read about people whose packages are stolen off their doorstep. I also tip my hair stylist - my wife and I go to the same guy. Manicurists and pedicurists also get a small tip from my wife.

Since we quit eating out in restaurants because now that my wife doesn't drive I cannot take the risk of getting a DUI after consuming 1/2 bottle of chardonnay we don't tip the same restaurants when we have takeout food.

I also never started tipping the newspaper delivery man.

@billyjobob: I've actually seen a bathroom attendant in Detroit (the Masonic Temple), of all places. I decided not to tip that guy because it was very uncomfortable to have a dude in very close proximity to me while I'm using the bathroom, squirt soap into my hand and hand me a paper towel. I would much prefer to do that myself.

Yes I agree with the earlier person that tipping is a cultural mentality. The ritual varies greatly nationally and even regionally within each country. I've seen car drivers tip samba boys juggling fruits during a red traffic light stop, I've seen travelers tip baggage handlers in Bahamas at the moment they pick up your bag to throw it on the plane, and I've seen guides in Belize brief tourists that it is not customary to tip waitors or waitresses, only bartenders.

I always checkmark the tip jar on Form 1040 under the address label, I think $3 is very reasonable.

I've never heard of or seen anyone tipping flight attendants. Seems questionable that 27% of people would have done it.

I'm going to go declare that people are supposed to tip my own profession and see if it works.

It's not 27% of the entire population, it's 27% of frequent fliers, many who fly first class. Flight attendants on corporate flights are routinely tipped hundreds of dollars ( I'm a pilot ). At the other end of the spectrum, domestic flight attendants working coach are usually not tipped at all.

jp --

It's 27% of fliers, which could be different than "frequent fliers."

I'm guessing it's not 27% of everyone since not everyone flies.

That 27% is really surprising to me. I fly business class pretty frequently, usually to Europe, and I've never thought of tipping, and I haven't seen anybody around me do any tipping (unless they did it really discreetly, but I still doubt it). I am a tipper in general, but it has never occurred to me that you could/should tip flight attendants. I am usually flying Lufthansa, interesting whether there are any regional differences.

First class may be different, I got upgraded once and service was over the top, somebody was asking me every few minutes whether I needed something. I frankly found that annoying since I was working during the whole flight and needed to focus on what I was doing. But that is one occasion on which I would have tipped if the above had occurred to me.

Seems like I've heard about flight attendant tipping as a precautionary measure to ensure they are extra nice to you - I've heard stories of people getting free drinks and other niceties. According to some stories, people have gotten magically bumped to first class from coach when there is space.. Etc.

I've never tipped, or seen anyone tip, a flight attendant in coach, business, or (real, international) first class. (Those "coupons" aren't money--they're just a way for the attendants to demonstrate to the airline that they're impressing customers.) I'm a pretty generous tipper, but that wouldn't even occur to me.

Where I live, you tip:

* taxi drivers
* doormen/porters [at Christmastime]
* hairstylists [unless owner of the salon]
* waitstaff
* massage therapists
* manicurists
* secretaries/assistants [again, at Christmas]
* housecleaners [also Christmas]
* movers

I also tip the coat-check guy at a museum I'm a member at at Christmas, but I think that's less common. And if I take the first-class train and get meal service at my seat, I'll do it.

These are mostly luxury services, and I think a person who is willing to spend money on that kind of service ought to be willing to take care of the person who is taking care of them. That goes quadruple for hotel housekeeping, who get shit wages for arduous (and often disgusting) labor. I don't approve of attempts to get tips for basically nothing (e.g., takeout), but I tend to give a skeptical eye to people who constantly protest tipping. If you can afford to go on vacation, you can afford a buck or two a day for the poor lady who has to lift 30 mattresses a shift.

There is nothing wrong with tipping anyone if the tipper really wants to give something as a token of appreciation for a good service. But the problem arises when tipping becomes "mandatory."

Tiping is out of control. period!

I worked a moving crew as summer job. It's hard work, low paid, and if you have nice stuff, tipping is well worth it, because for anyone we knew wouldn't tip, we didn't give a **** about their stuff or their walls or floors.

Highly recommended: $20 per person (unless it's the owner of the company) at the start, with the promos of another $20 if they do a good job. You will get the most diligent, careful movers for that. You're already paying 500-5000 for the move, factor in another 100-200 and consider it insurance that makes some people better off.

I fly Business and First Class to Europe on a monthly basis as well as many domestic first class flights. I have never seen anyone around me tip. I have airline service recognition coupons when service is above standard.

At a previous company, we would use a private jet service for certain business trip. If we had a flight attendant for the longer flights, we would sign for a tip on the service receipt.

After they pull me/escort me from the burning plane.. I'll be GLAD to tip, THAT'S their job after all, flight service is secondary...BTW: here in WA the MINIMUM wage is $9.19/hr indexed to inflation, that INCLUDES servers/bartenders, so my tip(s), though consistent are modest, 20% at a restaurant- NO way! typically 10%~+ depending on SERVICE, $1 to barber ($2 at xmas), $1 to the rental car bus driver (if he loads unloads my bag), $1 to the hat/coat check person, a couple cents to the tip jars at counters, occasionally $1-$5 or so to the chambermaid that goes beyond typical service, $1 per couple drinks to the bartender - IF my service is waste haulers and mail delivery folks earn SOLID salaries and benefits, I lok at tipping for those who typpically aren't full time and provide SERVICE, anyway, that's my .02 "tip" FWIW..

Tipping is out of control in some areas. I'd never tip a flight attendant and have never witnessed anyone else tipping them either. I already pay a lot more to fly business or first class. The worst part for tipping is when people expect a certain amount from you, and if you don't utilize that type of service a lot, you're unaware of the correct amount to tip. Later that translates to feeling guilty for tipping too low, or being on the receiving end of a glare from the person you're tipping. I try to maintain the standard rate unless the service was superb.

Tipping can be a personal and cultural issue for many different people. But I believe that, in the end, it is still a personal issue. You should tip or give - however you want to call it- if you really want to. Tipping is very different from service charge.

Tipping is out of control. It is another side of our entitlement culture. People think they deserve a tip just because they showed up for work!

I've never tipped in cash but as a frequent flyer on Delta, I have been "issued coupons" by the airline to give out to any airline employee who provided a great service. The coupons are like airline miles or credit card point and can be used for stuff. I think it is a good way to see what employees go above and beyond for the public because they have no way of knowing we had the vouchers. It didn't cost me anything other than carrying the voucher around with me. Also by redeeming the vouchers the employees were able to show the company that they were great with customer service when no one from management was looking. I know I gave at least one to an airline employee that I heard going above and beyond for someone else while I was waiting in line for something.

I tip grocery store cashiers and the librarian (I spend a lot of time at the local library). I also tip do-workers when they're particularly helpful with a project

I tip grocery store cashiers and the librarian (I spend a lot of time at the local library). I also tip do-workers when they're particularly helpful with a project

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