airport tipping

Travel Forums General Talk airport tipping

1. Posted by nicolaitan (Budding Member 956 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

from a recent discussion amongst the chronologically gifted, this question came up

when one needs wheelchair assistance in an airport, should the wheelchair attendant receive a tip and if so how much to and from plane to curbside?

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 7065 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

In which country? Nothing would be expected here in Australia.

3. Posted by nicolaitan (Budding Member 956 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

united states

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4153 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Nothing would be expected in the UK or the EU/Schengen countries either, nor would it be offered by citizens of those countries whilst in those countries. Being offered a tip in those particular circumstances could well cause the attendant embarassment.

In a culture like the US where tipping is the absolute norm I imagine a tip would not only be happily accepted but actively expected by the wheelchair attendant.

Off the top of my head, if it was me and the same attendant took me from the plane, to and through Customs and/or baggage claim and out through Arrivals to wherever I was being picked up I'd probably give 20USD.

5. Posted by 55vineyard (Full Member 176 posts) 4w 1 Star this if you like it!

I have actually used wheelchair assistance at least 3-4 times if not more, mostly to and from US to Mexico but also to Hawaii.
I set it up ahead of time when I book my flights (United used to have a place on their website to book it, others you may have to call).
Leaving your home airport, they take you thru security (special line usually) to the gate and get you seated.
When you arrive, the wheelchair and attendant are waiting right on the jetway with the chair and they take you through Immigration (again, a special line or the short line for flight crew), to baggage claim for luggage, then Customs and all the way out to the curb to pick up your rental car, taxi, or other transport. It is well worth at least $20-30 for each leg of the trip and in Mexico, the folks who do the wheelchair transport work for tips ONLY so be generous.

6. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2194 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

I have been using wheelchairs in airports regularly since 2008. I don't tip as generously as 55vineyard.

When I make my reservation, I put on the reservation right away that I will want a wheelchair. Of course I also have to call the airline to alert them to the fact that I'm brining a walker or scooter which will have to be gate checked.

Usually at the end of the trip the wheelchairs are lined up on the jetway for the people that need them. And they do take you through customs and immigration and to baggage claim and out to your transportation. I usually give them $5.00 - more if they have been especially helpful and if I need someone extra to lug my baggage I tip them too.

However it is a bit more difficult to get a wheelchair when you are leaving. Some airports are particularly difficult because the wheelchair people are scheduled by the airlines and not by the airport. So you have to get to the check-in desk to get one. And that's sometimes difficult if you need a wheelchair and have luggage. Bush airport in Houston is particularly bad. In any case, once you get one, the wheelchair person should take you through security, and sometimes they will help you refill a water bottle and will leave you at the gate to wait for the plane. Then usually someone will come back to take you down the jetway. I give the person who takes me to the gate $5.00 and the person who takes me down the jetway an additonal $1 (unless it is a flight attendent). If the wheelchair person has had to help me with luggage I give them $10.

For someone who gets me from one gate to another in a big airport like DFW I would give them $10. I think of the time it takes them and calculate the amount they would make in an hour. Maybe I should be tipping more.

The only place I have not tipped was I think in Copenhagen when I was told not to by the wheelchair person, and in Amsterdam when the persons pushing the wheelchair were the flight attendents on the plane that I had flown in on.

7. Posted by nicolaitan (Budding Member 956 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

thank you all for your responses

be well

Post 8 was removed by a moderator