You would often pay a tip to a waiter, bartender, driver and a valet but ever thought of tipping an in-flight cabin crew? Probably the answer would be no, at least until now. US-based Frontier Airlines has started asking their passengers to tip their cabin crew after they bring refreshments around the plane. From January 1, 2019, this has come into effect and was spotted by popular flights blog The Points Guy after one of its writers flew with the domestic airline, as reported by Business Insider. Frontier Airlines’ Flight Makes Emergency Landing Over Engine Failure, Twitterati Pokes Fun As Passengers Given Free Breakfast in Return.
The author of the blog post, JT Genter, said he was handed a mobile tablet by a flight attendant after ordering his drinks. The tablet prompted him to tip the crew for 15%, 20% or 25% of his bill and another for ‘custom gratuity’. However, there is an option for leaving no gratuity at all. Genter wrote: “I’ve flown more than 350 flights on 51 different airlines in the past three years, but I’d never experienced an airline ask for a tip.”
A Frontier spokesperson told TPG: “Currently tips are shared amongst all members of the flight attendant crew on a given flight. Effective January 1, 2019, flight attendants will earn tips on their individual sales.” The spokesperson further said, “We appreciate the great work of our flight attendants and know that our customers do as well, so the payment tablet gives passengers the option to tip. It’s entirely at the customer’s discretion and many do it.” Not only the passenger but even the flight attendant can choose to trigger the tip option.
The low budget flight also said that no portion of the tips was kept by the company itself. Many flight attendants also see the in-flight tip program as a way to supplement their income. However, it is unclear how popular the scheme is with passengers and flight staff.