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Old 28th Nov 2012, 00:28   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: London
Posts: 157
Long Haul, Tips, Tipping. First/Economy

Hi Guys,
My background: Former ATSA, until recently, only ever flown short-haul, budget airlines in Europe, but I find myself more frequently being SLF on long-haul. I just wanted to ask about tipping.
I know that the primary role of Cabin Crew is the safety of all passengers ... BUT ... it has become apparent to me that customer service takes up a lot of CC time . So, I guess my question is actually two questions:
Do long-haul CC have separate 'grades'? Do more experienced CC work First, while the junior crew members work Economy? Or maybe the other way around? Is working the First cabin considered harder, or more onerous, than working Economy, or vice versa? I can imagine First pax being more demanding, but then maybe Economy work is more intensive. Which is considered the 'best position'? Which do you prefer? Is there a salary difference?
My second question - do First pax normally tip for good service? Is it expected? Is it appreciated? Do you ever get tips from economy pax?
I'm only asking because I dream of being able to fly First one day, and I was discussing the matter of tipping CC with my wife. She said 'Don't be silly, they're just doing their job', while was trying to maintain my stance of 'Good service deserves recognition, even at 33,000ft'
Thanks for reading,
Phil.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 07:28   #2 (permalink)
 
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In my company, both cabin and cockpit crew are not allowed to accept tips from passengers; such an attempt will only cause a slightly awkward situation.

If You want to show Your appreciation, a simple Thank You is always well received when You are leaving the aircraft after flight. Also, if someone really goes above and beyond the call of duty, You might write some lines to the company mentioning the crew members name; on most airlines a contact form will be handed out to You on request in flight. This will also be well appreciated by all involved and possibly do the involved crew member more good than a tip.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 08:25   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Tipping is absolutely forbidden by BA. The only exception was when a very rich and powerful Gulf Ruler used to hire the whole aircraft for his little jaunts. His flunkey would open his briefcase and dish out solid gold Rolex watches which had his face on the dial!

It was deemed bad manners to refuse. Sometimes, I guess when he ran out of watches, fat brown envelopes were handed out instead - those we're the days!
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 10:42   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Belgium
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We are allowed to accept tips, but we make it a habit to share them amongst the entire crew. Not that we get that many tips, but when everybody lays in for drinks, the tips just go in the pot as well.
Having said that, we do appreciate a simple Thank You a LOT more than tips, at least I do.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 09:20   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
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1973 - First job after leaving RAF, flying Aztec air taxi. Slightly 'merry' businessman absolutely insisted that I have a fiver.
What would that have equated to in a B747 in 2002? I never found out
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 10:11   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: UK
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Quote:
'Don't be silly, they're just doing their job'
Quite.


And that surely applies to any and every situation where that vulgar, patronising and unnecessary scam is perpetrated?
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 11:57   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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In answer to your first question operating in First Class is a promotion from Economy. You have to pass a specific course for your upgrade to the first class service. I have never heard of anyone outside of VIP being offered a monetary gratuity although I have been offered a gift from the Duty Free service. A letter to compliment your service is far more appropriate and very gratefully received by both the company and the cabin crew. If one stands out then take his or her name as it goes on their file and all adds up when it comes to consideration for promotions.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 18:13   #8 (permalink)
ZFT
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Quote:
A letter to compliment your service is far more appropriate and very gratefully received by both the company and the cabin crew.
Is this really the case? Does an airline really expect to be bombarded with complimentary letters, assuming their front line staff are doing their job well? I am not an irregular traveler, I like to think I am a courteous and considerate one but I have never had cause to write such a letter. Thank you(s) of course, but letters!!
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 20:03   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
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Quote:
A letter to compliment your service is far more appropriate and very gratefully received by both the company and the cabin crew.
Is this really the case? Does an airline really expect to be bombarded with complimentary letters, assuming their front line staff are doing their job well? I am not an irregular traveler, I like to think I am a courteous and considerate one but I have never had cause to write such a letter. Thank you(s) of course, but letters!!
Since most people are only driven to write a complaint about a comment from the flight deck they only half heard and have completely misinterpreted, or that the cabin crew didn't do a service on a very short flight, it would be nice to balance these out with some complementary letters for a job well done.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 21:56   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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OM-A 1.6.7 Tips Any donations (tips or presents) offered by passengers should be politely refused.


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Old 29th Nov 2012, 22:30   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Europe
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Quote:
Since most people are only driven to write a complaint about a comment from the flight deck they only half heard and have completely misinterpreted, or that the cabin crew didn't do a service on a very short flight, it would be nice to balance these out with some complementary letters for a job well done.
Guess I'm not most people then. On the last 3 out of 4 flights I asked for a feed-back form to praise the crew (Emirates, all 4 flights. On the 1 I didn't ask for a form I slept all the way. Pretty hard to appreciate good service when you're sleeping). Tipping a crew member, though, is not ever going to happen; I'll never forget they are primarily there for my safety and not to mix my Martini's, and I'd no sooner tip a fireman or police officer than I would a crew member. Thank them, yes. Point out their excellent performance to their superior, absolutely. But I won't insult them by throwing cash at them - that's just vulgar.

Last edited by SMT Member; 29th Nov 2012 at 22:30.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 16:20   #12 (permalink)

 
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Quote:
Thank them, yes. Point out their excellent performance to their superior,
absolutely. But I won't insult them by throwing cash at them - that's just
vulgar.
Quite.....
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 19:29   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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It's nice to hear the words "Thank you." That's all we need. But it's even more important to hear about where we are going wrong. And yes, people do offer tips and I think most are politely refused, as they should be. Unlike many service industry staff, we are appropriately paid for what we do.

As for working in the premium areas of the cabin, that normally given to the more experienced crew members. These passengers pay more and every attempt is made to give them more.

PM
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 02:30   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Australia
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Having grown up in Australia when there was not tipping culture I had to get some guidance from an American friend about who to tip, how much and when. The argument seemed to be that people in the service industry were lowly paid. As he is a pilot for a LCC and I did suggest, tongue in cheek, that stand at the door after landing with his hat out and solicit tips. God forbid that it would actually happen.
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 08:59   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Could not beleive title of this thread. Do your job to the best of your abilaties or circumstances allow, and I will always say thank you, and if there has been very good service from an individual get on to lead Purser/CSD and ask them to note comments in their notes to pass onto individual involved and their record.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 07:05   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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In my outfit it is not actively encouraged, however the local culture dictates that it is offensive to refuse a gift so one must tread carefully. Generally we politely decline, however if the person is insistent that we must accept then the decision is made by the purser as to whether it is appropriate or not.

Generally, the cases I see most is when a single person wants to give the collective crew a gift. It has happened on 3 separate occasions on my flights and has always been a gift such a perfume, a pen etc... (in 2 of the cases it was the same passenger on separate flights, who is very humble and always appreciative of the service- a first class person in every sense who is unfailingly polite and treats everyone equally whether it be VIP or crew member)

Money is also not unheard of although this usually comes from VVIP passengers or royalty. In which case saying no is out of the question! You have to understand that while some people may find it 'tacky' or 'cheap', gifts of this nature are normal in some parts of the world as a thank you or appreciation for good service. Refusal may be seen as extremely offensive.
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Old 4th Dec 2012, 12:59   #17 (permalink)
 
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givemewings

Precisely!!
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 11:59   #18 (permalink)

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vctenderness,

Exactly the same thing happens within the flat racing horse fraternity.

I was once assigned as Director of a film crew working in Newmarket on a racing documentary, during which Sheik Diddly Do's horse won a race. Lacky duly appears and hands out gold Rolexes to stable lads, trainer etc. and mistook me and my cameraman for part of their team. My Rolex (apparently worth 10,000 at the time, but with the face, only about 7,000) was duly dispatched to the Rolex shop for a new face. It cost me 900 and that was back in 1985!
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 09:56   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SALISBURY
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I'm fortunate to fly BA long haul twice a year escaping the English winter. If I consider that I have been given particularly good service then I always make a note of the crew member(s)' name & after I arrive home fill in the online thank you form. I'm pleased to report that I've filed such reports on 95% of flights covering 12 years.

I'm even happier to report that I've never had to file a complaint.

Last edited by fincastle84; 10th Dec 2012 at 09:56.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 18:30   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Sometimes a customer will try to offer a tip, often from the US where these things are much more a part of every day life; I usually encourage them to place it into our charity bag as we can all feel good about that. In the old days we regularly would be bought perfume by the First class pax particularly from the Gulf states (the Bar operator would tour the aircraft with a pad noting down what everyone wanted) but its been many years since that was acceptable. The only time you get a tip in the rear cabins it is usually accompanied by a phone number or business card
As to which is cabin is preferred, it depends on the individual. Some like the attention to detail required at the front and some prefer to have a laugh with the folk at the back; the middle is often less popular for some reason. There is no pay differential for the different cabins where I work although you need some seniority to be trained to work in First.
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