Tip the Flight Attendants?

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January 31st 2019
Published: January 31st 2019
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Can you believe a U.S. based airline is encouraging tips for their flight attendants? And the tips go directly to attendant who takes them? For many years, I hear Frontier Airlines, the ultra low cost, no frills airline has a tipping option on their payment tablets.

Over the years, I have given small tokens of appreciation. But I do not give them based on what I receive. I base them on how friendly or helpful the flight attendant might be. The tokens could range from fresh fruit (illegal in most cases), candy, homemade baked goods, or small trinkets.

But money? My first thought is that tipping would encourage flight attendants to give things away, in hopes of getting bigger tips. Perhaps that bottomless glass of champagne might warrant a $5 or $10 tip! Or perhaps slipping me some ice cream from first class might do the trick?

Perhaps the airline should think about exactly how this process will play out. During my working career, we often received home baked goods from patients. But it could not alter our level of service or create any discounts. One patient would bring a case of Brentwood corn. A nun in Napa Valley would bring a case of wine during the holidays.

Somewhere in this process, I see problems, particularly in first class. I think the price I pay for the ticket entitles me to the best service possible. Why should I pay extra for services I have already purchased?

The corollary to this might involve paying the flight attendants a fair wage. Certainly on the foreign airlines, they make a more than livable wage. But that is not so true here in the U.S. Many have a side job just to pay their bills. Maybe some of the ridiculous baggage fees can go toward the flight attendants wages?

Where is this going?


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