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#909642 by etk
08 Sep 2015, 07:26
I tipped at JFK recently, we got really good service and seemed the right thing to do. Certainly got well looked after when we came back from the spa and had the same waitress.
#909643 by dickydotcom
08 Sep 2015, 07:30
Interesting topic.
Basically I would tip in America where it seems to be expected.
However, saying that, last time I was in the Delta lounge at MCO I went up to the bar and ordered drinks.
There were some dollar bills strategically placed along the counter and I was standing at least six foot from the nearest one. They were clearly hints, 'please leave a tip.'
When the bar person brought my drinks, instead of bringing them to me, she placed them in front of one of the dollar bills.
That was a bit of a red rag to me and she didn't get a tip. This happened both times I went up for drinks.
In the past I have left a tip on my final visit to the bar.

Dick D
#909644 by joeyc
08 Sep 2015, 07:42
I normally tip in the VS CHs I frequent in the US. Staff are usually fantastic so I don't mind putting a few bucks in their tip jar.

I do sometimes wonder how much they make in tips; do we think they'll make more, or less than if they were working as a server outside the airport?
#909647 by Smid
08 Sep 2015, 10:17
I tip at the bar at all the US lounges, like any bar. If not been involved with waitress service for a bit cos flying BA, but I think I tipped JFK and maybe SFO lounges. Not sure. I struggle sometimes to remember, and have missed days leaving tip for the cleaners at the hotels...
#909649 by TimCrawley
08 Sep 2015, 11:38
Probably tip 3 out of 4 times at LAS lounge simply because of 'habit' when in the US, a tip is really only deserved there once in a blue moon for actual service provided - but they are usually a bit swamped with both BA and VS passengers at the same time.

At JFK the service was poor enough on both recent visits to lounges that I didn't tip but have given tips there before.

I gave a tip on my last visit to GND as they were really friendly after they brought through my duty free (lounge itself wasn't brimming with staff as it's very small and self-service) and usually leave something at most Carib lounges.

Although it's certainly not expected by the staff, I now do regularly give a tip at the LGW clubhouse as the service there really is exceptional and well worth a £5-10 tip depending on how long the visit has been.

Not been to LHR VS clubhouse but never felt like service in BA lounges there warranted a tip except perhaps the overworked cleaner!

In all cases that I do leave a tip it would be with the 'empties' on the table as I leave rather than at the bar though - so $ bills on the counter or a tip jar on the counter don't tempt me one way or the other on whether I tip or not.
#909665 by Kraken
08 Sep 2015, 17:32
My view on this is "Would you tip the cabin crew / flight deck crew?" The answer to both would probably be no, as they are doing the job they are paid to do. Ditto for a CDC driver in the UK - tips are not expected over here.

IMO, if a member of Clubhouse staff (or cabin crew) delivers service way over what is expected, a letter to Crawley Towers is a much better way of recognition, as it should go on their file / make it's way to their line manager.

I too have seen the "baited" dollar bills on the bar in the MCO Delta Lounge. Have never added to them as the service in this lounge is generally pretty dire.
#909669 by seany
08 Sep 2015, 18:44
I often have lots of dollar bills left over after a trip to NYC, tipping in the CH is quite a good way to offload them as the service is always great!
#909670 by Hamster
08 Sep 2015, 18:53
I discussed this with a friend who works on the ground for VS at LHR. Technically they aren't allowed to accept any tips or gifts, but gifts can be accepted if refusal of gift world cause embarsement for the person gifting.

Staff at outposts are often employed by different companies so will have different rules.
#909685 by WPIL
09 Sep 2015, 07:04
Have tipped in the UK Clubhouses when having a treatment at the end, don't think I have ever tipped in a U.S. Lounge because it was either self service (LAX) or the staff were not very nice (LAS). As mentioned above if I receive excellent service onboard or from ground staff I would normally drop an email to Crawley Towers.
#909698 by Smid
09 Sep 2015, 10:26
WPIL wrote:Have tipped in the UK Clubhouses when having a treatment at the end, don't think I have ever tipped in a U.S. Lounge because it was either self service (LAX) or the staff were not very nice (LAS).


Maybe they are grumpy because they are some of the few barstaff jobs in america where you don't get many tips....

My view is that tipping is pretty much mandatory in the US. They get taxed on it. Usually the wages reflect that.

However, I have seen US people not tip consistently when in all inclusive resorts in mexico. I think they are missing a nicer holiday, a better welcome at the bar, chats with the barstaff, drinks pre poured in seconds. Might be the same thing in lounges...
#909751 by sythe20
10 Sep 2015, 07:56
Wow this really interesting getting people's opinions on this.

I'm shocked about the Delta bar laced with dollar bills! To be honest, I disapprove of tipping in all accounts EXCEPT where the service has been exemplary, discreet and non-assuming - i.e. they weren't visibly fishing for a tip.

I didn't tip on my last visit to the JFK CH, because we had multiple servers, one of which was a little grumpy and it just didn't feel quite necessary. Makes me wonder if said grumpy staff member was grumpy because we weren't tipping? She brought out the meat CH burger to me instead of the veggie mushroom one :mrgreen:
#909759 by Smid
10 Sep 2015, 09:49
sythe20 wrote:I'm shocked about the Delta bar laced with dollar bills! To be honest, I disapprove of tipping in all accounts EXCEPT where the service has been exemplary, discreet and non-assuming - i.e. they weren't visibly fishing for a tip.


This is possibly why servers/barstaff in the US have a big sigh when they hear you are british. I like to surprise them by giving 20% tips across the board, but it sounds like I'm in the minority.... Tipping rarely, like they do in europe, rather than tipping always, like you should do in the US, well you just make the brits look like uneducated tourists...

And as for assuming and fishing, I'd call that "educational".
#909760 by Maximus
10 Sep 2015, 10:03
I have never tipped in an airline lounge before, anywhere in the World. I have never felt it was expected nor indicated. Even in the USA, where I always tip in bars and restaurants etc. as it is normal practice to do so.

I find Europeans get very hung up on tipping "rules", especially when visiting the USA, and some people can get really stressed about it. They shouldn't. If you get it "wrong" why worry? You will soon be forgotten as the staff deal with hundreds of people a day!

When people keep asking me for tips, either directly (tour guides often do this I notice) or more subtly, as in bank notes left on the bar, their liklihood of receiving one from me is inversely ∝ to the number of times they ask :)
#909761 by Smid
10 Sep 2015, 10:35
Maximus wrote:When people keep asking me for tips, either directly (tour guides often do this I notice) or more subtly, as in bank notes left on the bar, their liklihood of receiving one from me is inversely ∝ to the number of times they ask :)


Yeah, but like I said, you're european, so might lack the education that you should be tipping... It really kind of isn't optional over there. Or do people not realise they are not in the UK anymore???

As for banknotes left on the bar, they seem to do this when I leave a tip on the bar, for a number of drinks. I assume there was a reason for this, rather than advertising, perhaps to allow me to withdraw a tip if required.... If anyone has any suggestions...
#909765 by pjh
10 Sep 2015, 11:27
Smid wrote:
Yeah, but like I said, you're european, so might lack the education that you should be tipping... It really kind of isn't optional over there.


At the risk of starting yet another huge thread about tipping, if it isn't optional then increase the price of the item / service. Simple. And while you're at it don't quote me an ex tax price when you know full well I have to pay the tax.

I do tip well in the US (over generously according to MrsPJH) but it does grind my gears that completely utterly indifferent service still expects a tip.
#909766 by Maximus
10 Sep 2015, 11:31
Smid wrote:Yeah, but like I said, you're european, so might lack the education that you should be tipping... It really kind of isn't optional over there. Or do people not realise they are not in the UK anymore???


It is kind of optional over there, as it is anywhere in the World. Even Americans can choose NOT to tip and do not (if they have any sense) when service is poor. Tipping is not a statute of law that I, nor anyone else, is obliged to obey. It is a gratuity, by definition a gift, reward, donation or present.

Don't get me wrong, I nearly always tip (and tip well to boot, especially hotel housekeeping staff) when in the States (where I have visited numerous times and and am very well educated btw and always realise when I am not in the UK, apart from when I may have had one or two too many gins!).

Infact I have only declined to tip once, in NYC in 1997, as the waitress was so rude. The first thing she said to me before I even spoke was "Ya gotta leave a tip ya know!!!" Red rag to a bull with me :)

But as I say, the more staff plug they expect a tip, the less and less they will get. I find it rude and distasteful. Maybe that is a cultural reaction to their "hints" but I can live with that.

But back too the scenario, in an airport lounge, tipping does not appear required or expected to me and I have never, ever, seen any customer tip in one over many decades of visiting them.
Last edited by Maximus on 10 Sep 2015, 11:58, edited 1 time in total.
#909767 by Maximus
10 Sep 2015, 11:33
pjh wrote:At the risk of starting yet another huge thread about tipping


Too late!!

And ya know you love them :)
#909775 by Smid
10 Sep 2015, 15:03
pjh wrote:At the risk of starting yet another huge thread about tipping, if it isn't optional then increase the price of the item / service. Simple. And while you're at it don't quote me an ex tax price when you know full well I have to pay the tax.


Erm, because this is the way it is? Has been for a long long time. Are you seriously suggesting that all of the US should culturally change just because you prefer to tip as you are down the road from your house???

And while the lack of tax on the receipt is misleading, it's just a cultural change. Like paying in a different currency.

I do tip well in the US (over generously according to MrsPJH) but it does grind my gears that completely utterly indifferent service still expects a tip.


Oh very bad service gets nothing from me. Ultimately. However, not particularly good service gets 10%. It's the way it is. 99% I tip 20%, but I'd not be criticising people who usually tip 10, and sometimes 15% However, nil...

It is the way its supposed to be. It's a different country for gods sake, different tax regime. For instance they get taxed on their tips, and pretaxed, so if they get a good tip year, they get taxed as if the next year is a good year, even if they've met a thousand yous and don't get the tips. Their wages are often a lot lower, some don't get paid at all and work for tips.

I just don't understand people who travel and expect it all to be like home...
#909776 by pjh
10 Sep 2015, 16:22
Smid wrote:
pjh wrote:At the risk of starting yet another huge thread about tipping, if it isn't optional then increase the price of the item / service. Simple. And while you're at it don't quote me an ex tax price when you know full well I have to pay the tax.


Erm, because this is the way it is? Has been for a long long time. Are you seriously suggesting that all of the US should culturally change just because you prefer to tip as you are down the road from your house???

And while the lack of tax on the receipt is misleading, it's just a cultural change. Like paying in a different currency.

I do tip well in the US (over generously according to MrsPJH) but it does grind my gears that completely utterly indifferent service still expects a tip.


Oh very bad service gets nothing from me. Ultimately. However, not particularly good service gets 10%. It's the way it is. 99% I tip 20%, but I'd not be criticising people who usually tip 10, and sometimes 15% However, nil...

It is the way its supposed to be. It's a different country for gods sake, different tax regime. For instance they get taxed on their tips, and pretaxed, so if they get a good tip year, they get taxed as if the next year is a good year, even if they've met a thousand yous and don't get the tips. Their wages are often a lot lower, some don't get paid at all and work for tips.

I just don't understand people who travel and expect it all to be like home...


Ease up :) . I don't expect it to be "like home". It is what it is. I tip, and often at the high end of the scale. I tip at home too (when I'm out, that is, rather than MrsPJH for making dinner...but perhaps that explains a lot). It doesn't mean that I have to think it's a good system and not be critical of it.
#909779 by Smid
10 Sep 2015, 16:44
I suppose its a bugbear of mines, especially when I've heard so many british people state that they're not going tip unless a server has acted as if serving them has 'changed their life', and even then, not give them very much... Doing a weeks holiday with 3K spending money, and can't spare a $5 tip on some sandwiches... I suppose irritation on meanness too there...

All I'm saying is criteria isn't the same. Anyway, I can't say I've tipped in the LHR clubhouse. I might have done so in the JFK and SFO one, probably because it is in america.... All part of the experience, you know.... :)
#909781 by Eggtastico
10 Sep 2015, 17:10
Im anti-tipping

A lot of things in America or equivalent priced or cheaper than the UK, quite a lot of items you can just replace the £ with $
They have a minimum wage of over $7 an hour. You could probably live better on that over there, than you can on UK minimum wage, yet we only tip our service staff 10%. Tipped workers minimum wage is $2 something, but in a busy bar, someone could easily serve 20-30 customers in an hour earning $1-$3 or so per customer.

Where did the 20% come from? It certainly didnt exist on my first visit to the states!

The country needs to modernise, especially as america is full of world leading corporations who should be able to afford to pay decent money. It shouldnt be customers job to pay for goods & for the staffs wages
#909789 by Bretty
10 Sep 2015, 18:52
I've never tipped in an airport lounge, and I don't think I will. It doesn't seem appropriate to me as generally there's no other financial transactions taking place, i.e. not running up a bar or food tab. Nor does it seem to be expected in my experience.

I used to work in the restaurant / bar trade (many moons ago mind) so I have some experience of this from the employee's side of things. I'm not a fan of tipping because it's such a minefield, but I do tip, and I try to tip appropriate to the service I've received, and it doesn't have to be earth shattering, (or like I've changed the server's life), but it has to be good: pleasant and friendly, efficient, attentive but not over the top, relaxed (don't try to rush me or tell me you need the table in an hour for someone else). I tip according to the culture of the country I'm in, so in the UK it's 10% at least, and if it's been particularly good, as in server was very helpful in some way such as making recommendations or keeping an eye on drinks and offering refills before I have to ask, then I'll go to 15 or even 20%. In the U.S. or Canada 15% would be the base tip, 20 if service is good, higher if it was exceptional. I'm mindful that my tip is a gratuity, no matter the server's expectation, I firmly believe it's a gratuity, they may pay tax on it, but it is certainly not my responsibility to subsidise a living wage. And that, for me, is where the industry is at fault and needs to change (doubt it will now, it's too heavily established).

I have no qualms about not tipping if the service or the meal hasn't been good. And if anyone is rude that's it.

Likewise if a waiter/waitress (they seem to use the term server in the U.S. Which is gender neutral) said to me "ya gotta tip you know?" or anything similar I'd find that rude and if the behaviour continued I wouldn't tip. To be honest with that kind of comment I'm more likely to walk out the restaurant. It's uncalled for, and if said to a foreign visitor assumes they don't know. And let's not forget there are cultures where tipping isn't expected, and cultures where they simply don't do it ever. Japan is an example. If you tried tipping here they'd be offended / embarrassed.

Back in the days when I worked in the industry, I did silver service, the full works including brushing up bread crumbs with a little dainty dustpan and brush just for the job. I was taught to look after my customers, to keep an eye on how quickly they were drinking and to anticipate when they need refills or another bottle. I was taught, when wine bottles are on the table or in ice buckets by the table, to frequently ensure glasses were filled as per customers needs, and to do so discretely (a polite customer will discretely indicate if they don't want a refill). When I go into a place with table service I'm looking for a standard. You'll be surprised how often I don't see it. Wait staff not properly trained, means poor service. Sometimes staff are just disinterested, they don't take pride in their work - that comes over and results in poor service. There's nothing worse than a disinterested server, nothing goes smoothly, they're not attentive, but they friggin well expect a tip at the end! Err, no.

That's my two penn'orth.
#909923 by sythe20
13 Sep 2015, 06:58
Bretty wrote: And let's not forget there are cultures where tipping isn't expected, and cultures where they simply don't do it ever. Japan is an example. If you tried tipping here they'd be offended / embarrassed.


This is one of the many reasons I LOVE visiting Japan - you don't have to navigate the awkward minefields of tipping. They are the customer service capital of the world in my eyes, everyone is super friendly and eager to help by their own amazing work ethic - it is just the Japanese way and tipping is considered extremely inappropriate. They don't need to be motivated by tips and as such don't expect or need to have their salary topped up by tips to reach a normal level. The employer ensures this not the public.
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