If you’re drinking on the plane and tip your flight attendant, they’ll be extra attentive and maybe throw you a free round. But you have to keep insisting they take the money, they’re not allowed to accept it on the first attempt. [BudgetTravel]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rg says:

    You’re kidding me right?! Tip a flight attendant? Puhleeze. Their not waitresses, they’ll be the first to tell you that. These folks don’t work for minimum wage, far from it!

  2. iMike says:

    Silly advice. Many if not most FAs will be mildly offended if you try to tip them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One reason people tip, among many, is that it helps you get better service if the waitstaff recognizes you in the future. On a plane, where you’ll have multiple interactions with the attendant, this is particularly pertinent.

  4. mrmysterious says:

    I’ve never seen anyone tip a FA. I also don’t know why in the heck a FA would actually eat a snack from some random passenger.

  5. castlecraver says:

    Air travel has become such an annoying class structure already — first class vs. coach, president’s club lounge vs. crappy gate chairs, and the perks of elite frequent flyer status vs. everyone else. If some pretentious twat buying $5 drinks seated next to me decided he of all people had the impeccably high class to tip his stewardess, I think I’d punch him in the jaw. I can think of few things more obnoxiously snobbish than indiscreetly tipping when it’s not expected. And there’s no way to tip discreetly while aboard a crowded plane.

  6. LTS! says:

    If you need a free round on your flight you can’t afford the $42,000 Cottonwood Rehabilitation Chateau in Tucson, AZ.. but you need help.

    Christ, we all know cigarettes are more addicting than alcohol and yet smokers manage to go an entire flight without smoking.. you can manage to go without a drink, let alone a free one!

  7. jesirose says:

    Just like the confessions of a call-center worker, this isn’t confessions. It’s bitching. It’s a worker asking customers to not annoy them, to give them free stuff because they don’t like the way they get paid, and bitching about how they’re not allowed to take tips and have to wear makeup. What are they confessing? They hate their job? So do most people sweetie.

  8. KEHT says:

    Stupid. Why don’t you just get plastered in the airport bar. It’s not like FA are going to mix you an awesome margarita or shake you a martini.

  9. On a Southwest flight to Vegas for a bachelor party (hence the drinking) several of us tried to tip our FA. She responded as if we’d burped “Thank You.” Kind of amused, kind of offended.

  10. Major-General says:

    @rg: Um yeah, starting pay at 18K a year…not exactly big money.

  11. NoWin says:

    ….Ahhhh, back the olden days (the 80’s), tipping the Stewardess often got you a free nip (not that kind, you degenerates) or two to stuff in your pocket, or at the least a steady flow of ice, or whatever to mix to your liking. Plus, they’d at least chat with you if you were in a pleasant mood.

    I always started my introduction with: “ah, a woman with a fist full of dollars and a booze cart; will you marry me?” I often was never left un-boozed during the flight.

    Once they started to become “flight attendants”, the fun seemed to slowly drain away….

  12. newlywed says:

    Perhaps this would work with some FAs, but at what point does it begin to make sense for the imbiber? Passing over a buck would appear sort of cheap (though technically it’s 20%), while passing over $2 without the guarantee of a free $5 drink, and on a $5 “tab,” in an environment where the person is not expected to earn her living from tips, seems ridiculous, and the rare possibility that a couple of bucks of a tip would lend to an all-you-can-drink-buffet is even more preposterous. I’m with LTS, how bad are you off it if you can’t survive three hours w/o?

  13. mac-phisto says:

    @Law-Talking Guy: perhaps she was afraid she would have to exchange clothing for said tips?

  14. NoWin says:

    @newlywed: …all those that remember Northwest’s DC-10 evening “Pub in the Sky” between BOS and LAX raise their hand….

    For some of you youngin’s, it may be hard to imagine, but flying was somewhat fun (even in coach) at one time. It was the interaction between the stewardesses and us decent folk, especially the regular flyer, that made the long jaunts as enjoyable as flying in a cigar tube could be under those conditions.

    And as Major-General correctly added, FA’s today do NOT make a lot of money by anyone’s standards.

  15. RandomHookup says:


    Let’s remember that for years airlines had weight, age and non-marriage requirements for the flight attendants. It really was a great way for a gal to meet lots of men and travel the world. Since then, the FAs are more likely to be a 52-year old woman with 3 kids. Definitely a change in the expectations of both sides of the equation.

  16. newlywed says:

    @NoWin: ha! I guess those were the days when people dressed up for flights! i vaguely remember being five and having to be combed and ironed to death to catch an hour-long flight…

  17. Doc Benway says:

    @rg: To borrow a phrase from a movie, “I always overtip”. The difference between a lousy douchebag and a generous tipper can be as little as $1. If you never worked in the service industry you can’t possibly imagine the difference one lousy buck makes. You try dealing with obnoxious people who feel that after paying $65 roundtrip somewhere that they are entitled to treat the plane and its staff like indentured servants. Show a little class, remember your not at home, and treat others how you expect to be treated and perhaps you can get rid of that big chip on your shoulder. Being a good consumer doesn’t equal acting like a douche bag.

    Tipping is a sign of appreciation. . . and if you show the Flight Attendant that your just not another pain in her/his ass waiting to happen then you have become a welcome minority on the plane.

  18. mac-phisto says:

    @Doc Benway: maybe if they started demanding that people buy an extra seat for the “big chip”, more people would be inclined to leave him/her at home.

    “hi sir, you’re being an exceptionally large ass today, so i’m afraid we’re going to have to go ahead & charge you the in-flight fee for an extra seat. or, if you’d rather, i’d be happy to escort you to the nearest exit.”

  19. saltmine says:

    In my alcoholic experiences in travel, all you have to do is kindly (and quietly) ask them to hook you up. If you’ve been minorly inconvenienced in any way, you’re in, as long as you’re sweet. Once on a Song flight the TV’s were broken, and being nice to the stewardesses got me 2-for-1 drinks for the entire 6 hour flight. Which totalled about 6 free nips. No tips involved. Even if you haven’t been minorly inconvenienced, you can make some small talk with them while you wait for the bathroom. Ask them how their day has been, then light-heartedly tell them what a horrendous day you’ve had (you lost your wallet at check in, you got randomly selected, and you left your belt at security). Then when you get back to your seat and push the button, they’ll be happy to help you.

    This is not just (the now-defunct) Song, I’ve done this on United and USAirways as well. I don’t think they even inventory that stuff.

  20. Mark 2000 says:

    I’d be happy to tip my FA if they’d stop making extra noise when they pass my sleeping baby with the drink cart. And don’t give me a face when I ask you to try to be a little more careful, you know, so there won’t be an angry screaming baby annoying the whole freaking plane.