Tipping

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railiner

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Cruises are a modern thing and are nothing like the time when people crossed oceans as a form of point to point transportation. Modern cruises did not exist at the time when aviation and navigation diverged.

Here's some examples of the nautical roots of aviation:
- Airplanes were called "ships" and some airlines and/or maintenance crews still do (dispatching will use the tail (registration) number, maintenance will use the fleet number, aka ship number, which sometimes matches the tail number, but due to mergers mixing fleets, they may not match).
- Copilot's position is called First Officer
- Flight deck crew wear epaulettes and hats with clear nautical roots
- Commercial aircraft have their main boarding doors on the left (port) side as did ocean liners
- Left and right are called port and starboard
- Vertical walls are called bulkheads
- The place where passengers sit is called a cabin
- Cockpit is called a flight deck
- Various uses of the word "flagship"
- The place where the food is stored, and where the flight attendants prepare meals is called the galley.
- Lead flight attendant/flight attendant in charge is called the purser
- Flight attendants were formerly called stewards and stewardesses (which has fallen out of fashion).
Wait...you left out "Admirals's Club", and in older era, flight engineer's, and navigator's😁 And how about rudder's?

Seriously, I get the point...but even on "Crossing's"....it was and is customary to tip your cabin steward, deck steward, dining room waiter, and just about every other person on the ship that directly provides a personal service for you. Cruise lines now add a standardized service charge to your fair, based upon the length of your cruise, with a higher per diem for those in suites. As mentioned earlier, you can adjust this amount at the end of your cruise, as well as tip additional amounts for exceptional service to an individual crew member.

I don't believe airline flight attendants receive gratuities. Only exception, may be on charter's, like when carrying pro sports teams. Not even sure about that...
 

jis

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Thought y'all might find this article of interest...

T.I.P = To Insure Promptitude? Sounds like it is more of a bribe ;)


Anyway, I found this article interesting if not quite informative about the history. Seems lie there has been a thread of connection between the need for tipping and low or non-existent pay. Its origins in the practices of British aristocracy is interesting too. One could surmise that it is a good easy way to feel aristocratic ... juuuust kidding 😬
I don't believe airline flight attendants receive gratuities. Only exception, may be on charter's, like when carrying pro sports teams. Not even sure about that...
Apparently Froniter Airlines encourages its passengers to tip their cabin crew, while most US domestic airlines have a policy against cabin crew accepting tips, though they will overlook some small non-cash gifts being accepted.

Adding a mandatory service charge is a strange one, and it is not clear that it is a tip in the original sense. The establishment pays salaries from its revenues anyway. All that service charge does is designates part of the incoming revenue to pay additional compensation to the employees and it typically has no relationship to the quality of service or lack thereof.
 

Ziv

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I believe that the "port" side on ships was always the side away from the "star/steering board" i.e. starboard/steorbord so that the steering board wouldn't hit the pier as you docked in port. Goes back to Nordic mariners but the Italians have a similar usage, as well.
Silly thing to associate with the left side boarding of ships and then aircraft, but you mount a horse from the left, as well. I wonder if the tradition of mounting horses from the left came from a maritime habit? Vikings did like to ride to battle when they could, though sailing and then marching was more the usual sort of campaign.
I believe that the Mongols also mounted their horses from the left so it may be that the normal side of mounting is more due to using the left hand for the reins and the right hand for your weapon? Not sure.
It would be cool if it was related to the Port/Starboard precedent, though.

Here's some examples of the nautical roots of aviation:
- Airplanes were called "ships" and some airlines and/or maintenance crews still do (dispatching will use the tail (registration) number, maintenance will use the fleet number, aka ship number, which sometimes matches the tail number, but due to mergers mixing fleets, they may not match).
- Copilot's position is called First Officer
- Flight deck crew wear epaulettes and hats with clear nautical roots
- Commercial aircraft have their main boarding doors on the left (port) side as did ocean liners
- Left and right are called port and starboard
- Vertical walls are called bulkheads
- The place where passengers sit is called a cabin
- Cockpit is called a flight deck
- Various uses of the word "flagship"
- The place where the food is stored, and where the flight attendants prepare meals is called the galley.
- Lead flight attendant/flight attendant in charge is called the purser
- Flight attendants were formerly called stewards and stewardesses (which has fallen out of fashion).
 

jis

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Hey! I always mount my bicycle from the left too. Until now I thought that had something to do with mounting from the sidewalk side in a country where traffic runs on the left, where I learned to ride a bike and did most of my bike riding. But who knew it had something to do with the Mongols and Vikings? 🤔 🤔

Now that it is mentioned, yes I did mount horses from the left too when I did some amount of horse riding during my high school days at a British style Public School back home.
 
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Ziv

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I have been watching videos of the 61st Jodhpur Lancers/61st Cavalry Regiment (famous Indian Cavalry units) and I think they mount on the left too. Not sure about later Japanese cavalry but samurai mounted from the right. But mounting from the left does seem to be pretty common.
I would guess it is because people are usually right handed and you mount with the reins in your left and any tools or weapons in your right. Not sure, though.
Sorry for the thread jack.
And I found another article. If you are carrying a sword it will usually be on your left hip, which means that mounting from the right you would have to slide it over the saddle every time you mounted, so swordsmen riding horseback took to mounting from the left to keep the scabbard out of the way. And lancers usually carried a sword (as well as the lance) since the lance frequently broke off in the body of your enemy, leaving you a bit under armed if you didn't have a backup weapon.
And it runs out the left eye of a horse is their dominant eye usually, so they like to use it to keep an eye on you when you are currying or mounting. Who knew. OK. I will stop now.
🤣

Hey! I always mount my bicycle from the left too. Until now I though that had something to do with mounting from the sidewalk side in a country where traffic runs on the left, where I learned to ride a bike and did most of my bike riding. But who knew it had something to do with the Mongols and Vikings? 🤔 🤔

Now that it is mentioned, yes I did mount horses from the left too when I did some amount of horse riding during my high school days at a British style Public School back home.
 
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NS VIA Fan

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There are also a couple of Canadian ferries, like the ones to Newfoundland, that have longer crossings. Not sure what the tipping practices are there. Again, you can get a cabin or just sit in airline-style seats.


No Cabin Attendant on the Newfoundland Ferry showing you to your room. They give you a Key Card when checking in and you just go to the cabin upon boarding with your gear. Beds are already made up.....there is no daytime mode. Cabins are cleaned during the 6 hrs in port between crossings.

I do tip in the restaurants and bars.

20190910_220248.jpg
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crescent-zephyr

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Not on Amtrak, but if one is a frequent patron of a restaurant, the servers have good memories in most instances. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

Amtrak as well. I’ve gotten very good service on Amtrak after tipping well the meal before. I’ve gotten private tables, extra bottles of water, extra desserts - once at breakfast the waiter offered me pancakes to go along with my eggs and potatoes! (Which i of course said yes to!)

Bus travel goes two ways. Rarely, if ever, do driver's on scheduled line runs receive a tip. OTOH, driver's on charter's and tours almost always do.

Yes, I was once caught off guard when the driver expected a tip for the airport shuttle from LAX to Anaheim. It looked and ran like an intercity bus.
 
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I consider a tip pretty much mandatory when dining and traveling by train. Although at times I’d like to give them a tip by suggesting they do a better job in lieu of passing out the cash. I’m wondering if anyone ever tipped or heard of someone tipping a Airline Stewardess / Flight Attendants for services while flying. I haven’t.
I have…not in cash. I always bring snacks or treats for flight attendants and crew
 

pn1

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I am writing from Australia where there is no tipping culture.

In June, my partner and I (both seniors) have booked a bedroom on the California Zephyr from Sacramento to Chicago. So, reading this thread suggests we should tip the conductor (bedroom attendant) $40 (i.e. $10 each per night [two nights]?

Since meals are included in the fare, it seems we need to tip after each meal we take? (As per the amounts suggested in this thread).

What about in the cafe part of the lounge car? Say I purchase two cups of "takeaway" coffee to drink in the lounge car. What is the tipping expectation there?

We are also booked business class on the Lake Shore Limited Chicago to Boston; what are the expectations there?

With the cashless "tap and go" methodology almost universal, presumably tips on Amtrak are always cash?

As I mentioned above, we are from Australia where any tips are reserved for outstanding service (usually in high-class eating establishments) but as seasoned travellers "when in Rome (we aim to) do as the Romans do".

Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions.
 

caravanman

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Tipping is pretty much expected in America, and for some occupations is seen as an essential part of their pay... (I am from the UK, so may not be too "up to date" with amounts expected...)
The Conductor is the guy in charge of the train, he may check your tickets, but no tip is given.
The SCA is the sleeping car attendant, they look after you in varying degrees, such as bringing meals to your room, if required, and setting up your room for sleeping, etc. The general advice is to give about $10 a night, but if you find them not very helpful, hard to find, etc, then tipping is always up to you.
I would not tend to give $20 a night just because there are two of you, maybe I am mean, or because I am just a solo traveller 99% of the time!
Probably a $1 or so in the cafe car tip jar will be fine, don't over think it. If you want to tip in the diner, it is expected, probably somewhere between $5-$10 per sitting between the two of you should be okay.
Amtrak employees do make a reasonable basic salary, so the "tipping" is always welcome, but not as much of an issue as elsewhere.
Tip what you like, don't feel obliged to tip poor service, but be generous when you feel happy!
Somewhere around 10-15% of the value of your purchases seems reasonable to me to tip?
 

Devil's Advocate

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Tipping is pretty much expected in America, and for some occupations is seen as an essential part of their pay...
Except that tipping is only expected in an arbitrary set of situations with no obvious rhyme or reason. If tipping culture was rational we could avoid threads about memorizing when it is expected, for how much, and by whom.

Tip what you like, don't feel obliged to tip poor service, but be generous when you feel happy!
Best advice of all! :)
 
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I am writing from Australia where there is no tipping culture.

In June, my partner and I (both seniors) have booked a bedroom on the California Zephyr from Sacramento to Chicago. So, reading this thread suggests we should tip the conductor (bedroom attendant) $40 (i.e. $10 each per night [two nights]?

Since meals are included in the fare, it seems we need to tip after each meal we take? (As per the amounts suggested in this thread).

What about in the cafe part of the lounge car? Say I purchase two cups of "takeaway" coffee to drink in the lounge car. What is the tipping expectation there?

We are also booked business class on the Lake Shore Limited Chicago to Boston; what are the expectations there?

With the cashless "tap and go" methodology almost universal, presumably tips on Amtrak are always cash?

As I mentioned above, we are from Australia where any tips are reserved for outstanding service (usually in high-class eating establishments) but as seasoned travellers "when in Rome (we aim to) do as the Romans do".

Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions.
I've never tipped anybody in business class. My impression of the Lakeshore Limited business class Boston to Albany was that there was no attendant, and thus nobody to tip. This is also the case for corridor business class. I'll sometimes through some spare cash to the cafe attendant, especially if it's a long run and I'm going to be using the cafe multiple times or if I get exceptional service.

Most Amtrak on-board service people I've dealt with are pretty mellow about tipping. The'll happily accept it, but they don't get too bent out of shape if you don't tip them. Unlike most service workers in the US, they do make a good wage/salary, including benefits, so I generally tip because it's custom and to acknowledge their effort on my behalf, not because they need the money. This, of course, is totally different from service workers elsewhere in the US, where I tip decently even for mediocre service, because I know those poor folks are not being paid enough to begin with. I
 

Gemuser

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I am writing from Australia where there is no tipping culture.

As I mentioned above, we are from Australia where any tips are reserved for outstanding service (usually in high-class eating establishments) but as seasoned travellers "when in Rome (we aim to) do as the Romans do".
Another Aussie here. In 2012 a mate & I did an extensive 6 week [mostly] Amtrak trip to USA. We went San Francisco - Seattle - Chicago -
NYC - Washington - New Orleans - Orlando - Washington - Chicago - Denver - San Francisco. We never tipped ANYONE on Amtrak, it never entered our minds to tip on a train, so in blissful ignorance we traveled most of the system with excellent service & no problems! [PS I didn't discover this site until after our return]
 

glensfallsse

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I was on the Silver Star Miami to NYP last week and tipped $40, which is a lot for me, but it's a full day and a half on the train and the man is running back and forth getting my meals and cleaning up when I'm done. I figure I ought to include what I normally would have tipped if I were in the dining car. I feel bad leaving out the dining car worker(s), but the SCA is the one serving me.
 

Fenway

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There is no easy answer to this.

I have always told my SCA I will show my appreciation at the end of a trip and never had an issue.

Now Amtrak Red Cap service is another kettle of fish.


30 years ago Seinfeld looked at tipping on airlines

 

Maglev

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I once shocked an SCA, who had given poor service, by giving him a tip. When he "made up" my bed the second night, he just left the upper sheet and blanket in a wad.

SInce then, I've figured out that I'd rather make my bed(s) myself, so I can get the sheets and blankets exactly as I want them. But I still tip generously.
 
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As a reminder, with flex meals in effect, food service is minimal. Some staff made us walk up to the counter to order and pick up our meals then bus our own tables. That is ZERO SERVICE and I do not tip when there is no service. Others did far more but none did what was typically done at restaurants and with traditional meals aboard Amtrak i.e. taking one's order, bringing drinks, bringing food, busing the table afterwards. In restaurants that usually means refilling coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks but on Amtrak, that is rare, partly because they want to turn the tables quickly because of the comparatively small size of diner and need to serve all sleeper passengers (and some coach ones) an, d partially because Amtrak discourages those "seconds". On the other hand, since dessert was included, some servers would offer to box it up for later in one's own compartment, a nice touch. Also, some Amtrak servers should not be in the service business at all and have poor attitudes and take it out on customers.

So, think of it like a restaurant with a couple of modifications - server salary, quality ond quantity of the service, extras by the server, and attitude.
Agreed! Extra service and positive attitude will get a tip. I've had some extremes in my volumes of travel on Amtrak... with SCA's bringing dinner on a tray with condiments included! Smiles extended with a generous tip. And at the other end zero service and scoldings when 'I did something wrong.' That get's a 0 tip and often a complaint to customer service.

To a large extent there seems to be an attitude problem on the Cardinal and certain other trains where all the staff seems to do is complain... grumpy... with minimal service. I suspect in such cases the inadequacies lie with regional administration.
 

toddinde

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A month or so ago, I traveled, and the sleeping car attendant was obviously in poor physical condition. She really could not assist with bags, and was very slow in making up rooms. I tipped her well anyway, and felt badly for her, but I’m afraid that being a sleeping car attendant is physically demanding. I’m assuming the essential functions of the job require a high level of physical ability. I guess with the labor shortage, it’s just good they had someone.
 

dn4192

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With taking the Zephyr in a few weeks woth my sister we will each have our own roomette. How does the tipping work for the person working our car? When do you leave the tip...where do you leave it and how do you know how much?
 
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With taking the Zephyr in a few weeks woth my sister we will each have our own roomette. How does the tipping work for the person working our car? When do you leave the tip...where do you leave it and how do you know how much?

Offer the gratuity as you leave the train at your destination. The amount should be based on the service you receive. Generally, for a one' night journey, a $10/person gratuity is what I offer. If the SCA has been particularly helpful, I will increase that amount.
 
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