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AD­VICE ON TIP­PING IN THE U.S

Al­though tip­ping is not manda­tory in Amer­ica it is widely ex­pected. De­pend­ing on the ser­vice, tip­ping can vary but a “safe”amount to tip is be­tween 10 and 20 per cent. If you strug­gle with the math, there are a num­ber of apps that can help you fig­ure out how much to leave, such as: • iHandy Tip Cal­cu­la­tor • Tip N Split Tip Cal­cu­la­tor • TipMe

On oc­ca­sion you will see tip jars, but do not feel ob­li­gated to con­trib­ute. “Ser­vice charge” ad­di­tions on bills are manda­tory.

RESTAU­RANTS

In the US wait­ers and bar­tenders are paid be­low min­i­mum wage, be­cause they are ex­pected to earn tips to sup­ple­ment their in­come. The cur­rent min­i­mum wage varies be­tween states, with a range be­tween US$10.50 (`683) and US$7.25 (`471) per hour. The wage for wait­ers and bar­tenders is of­ten US$2 (`130) an hour.

Be­fore tip­ping, check the re­ceipt, as some might al­ready in­clude a gra­tu­ity though this de­pends on the size of your group. At restau­rants, it is rec­om­mended to leave a be­tween 15 and 20 per cent ex­tra on top of the amount be­fore tax. Some restau­rants will rec­om­mend a sum at the bot­tom of the re­ceipt.

If you’re at a bar, the usual tip­ping amount is around US$2 (`130) per drink. If you or­der food to be de­liv­ered, you’ll be ex­pected to tip no more than 10 per cent.

TRAVEL

Al­though taxi driv­ers are not paid as lit­tle as wait­ers or bar­tenders, they should also be tipped. Tips vary be­tween and 10 and 15 per cent. In gen­eral, if any­one helps with your bag, whether at the air­port, in a taxi, or ho­tel staff, the rec­om­mended tip is around US$2 (`130) per bag. At ho­tels, many peo­ple tip house­keep­ing staff. This is around US$3 (`195) per day, or a de­cent amount at the end of your stay.

EX­TRAS

For spa and beauty treat­ments, the rec­om­mended amount is 10-20 per cent. For valet park­ing, tip­ping is ei­ther op­tional or manda­tory. If your car is parked and col­lected for you, you might pay the at­ten­dant US$4 (around `260).

Thanks for the post. Per­son­ally, in the US I just go by my sim­ple rule – tip 15 per cent, no less.

This was writ­ten by our US in­tern. Any com­ments, feed­back wel­come. Be gen­tle.

I re­mem­ber tip­ping a door­man in the US about five years ago for get­ting us a taxi. It hadn’t been a big job, he put up his hand.

I gave him two, one dol­lar bills. He looked at them, and handed them back to me, and moved on to the next wait­ing ho­tel guest.

Tom, I have seen your door­man ex­pe­ri­ence in the states too – many years ago, a one dol­lar tip was re­turned to a col­league with the words “If that is all you can af­ford, you need it more than I do!”

Cou­ple of years ago, in the AA Lounge at LAX, my 21 year old or­dered from the menu (about US$15 (`975) worth) and gave a US$100 (`6,505) bill to the waiter. “Will you re­quire change from that, sir” was greeted with hor­ror and zero by way of a tip.

I dis­like open credit card vouch­ers when ser­vice has al­ready been added – and never even thought about pay­ing a tip on tax (thank you Swis­sExPat).

My last few vis­its to the States, I gen­er­ally ask for the cheque – ser­vice charge/tip free — so I can leave cash as a tip. The looks of as­ton­ish­ment and worry on the servers, es­pe­cially stu­dents. My favourite oc­ca­sion was when a stu­dent looked very wor­ried and asked if there was a prob­lem – I said its the op­po­site and wanted to pay him per­son­ally for the way he had looked af­ter the ta­ble.

Sur­pris­ingly though, as re­ported on the last thread about tip­ping in the States, there are a grow­ing num­ber of restau­rants in the States that are pay­ing their staff fairly and re­mov­ing the need for guests to leave tips.

Strange your US in­tern was treated like that, as that is my stan­dard tip for get­ting a taxi, US$2 (`130) and the same for the guy who brings my bags to the check-in.

The one who ac­tu­ally brings it to my room, off­loads them and shows me how the room works etc get US$5 (`325), which is roughly what I tip in Switzer­land. Though in Europe you don’t tip from the taxi to the check-in, be­sides it’s usu­ally the same per­son.

I tip in restau­rants 15 per cent of the amount ex­clud­ing tax then round up to the near­est US$5 (`325). Like Mar­tyn I al­ways give this in cash and I leave it to them and their con­science if they should wish to tell Un­cle Sam about it! Never had a frown or been bad mouthed.

I par­tic­u­larly dis­like it when the server tells you ser­vice is at your dis­cre­tion, but as a Euro­pean I should know it’s usual to add 20-25 per cent to the to­tal. I point out that as a Euro­pean I don’t like to be ripped off and will leave what I feel like leav­ing – which if the ser­vice is bad, server un­friendly or ser­vice

slow will range from nil to maybe 10 per cent but I al­ways tell them why I’m leav­ing such a low tip.

At one restau­rant I got all three and left noth­ing. be­fore I could leave a rather brusque man­ager came up to me and asked me what the mat­ter was. He ac­tu­ally made me a bit ner­vous but I stood my ground and told him ev­ery­thing that went wrong com­pounded by the rude and ar­ro­gant (and he re­ally was) waiter. I was as­ton­ished when he ripped up the cheque, said I did not de­serve to have to pay and hoped I would come back and give them an­other chance. Some­thing he did not give to the server as he was then fired on the spot! Well I didn’t want that to hap­pen but there wasn’t much I could do.

Taxis — I usu­ally tip the sug­gested amount and when the fare is tip in­cluded, the driver still ex­pects some­thing more, so I give ei­ther US$5 (`325) or US$10 (`650) de­pend­ing on the dis­tance, time taken and friend­li­ness.

HELSINKI/FIN­NAIR

Hello, I am con­sid­er­ing book­ing a London>Helsinki>Bangkok in busi­ness (Qatar was sur­pris­ingly more ex­pen­sive).

If I buy liq­uids in London, will I be able to carry them on board, or is there a se­cu­rity check when trans­fer­ring in Helsinki?

Also, the lay­over is Helsinki is one hour and 45 min­utes. Will I be able to en­joy the lounge or too tight? Thanks for your ad­vise.

Hi! Trans­fer to Helsinki from the UK to Asia is ab­so­lutely easy. There is no need for ad­di­tional se­cu­rity check. Just dis­em­bark straight to the long-haul departures lounge for your next des­ti­na­tion.

You have at least one hour for busi­ness lounge/ Fin­nish sauna ex­pe­ri­ence. En­joy!

I thought Fin­nair closed the saunas in their lounge years ago?

Dear es­selle, Yes, you are cor­rect re­gard­ing the Fin­nair Spa and four dif­fer­ent types of saunas (with a small pool).

Now-a-days in this very same space is Fin­nair Pre­mium Lounge and next to it shower suites and new Fin­nish sauna for all lounge guests to en­joy.

Markku is right. No ad­di­tional se­cu­rity checks while tran­sit­ing from London to Asia via Fin­nair. I flew from London to Sin­ga­pore in May 2017 via Helsinki on Fin­nair. The ar­rival gate for flights from London at Helsinki air­port was at the in­ter­na­tional de­par­ture area of the air­port. De­par­ture gates to Asia were next to the Fin­nair lounge dur­ing my flights in May.

AIR­LINE WIFI

Just paid `1,310 for wifi on CX and it re­ceives a sig­nal and doesn’t trans­mit. Just says wait­ing on Face­book and that al­ways hap­pens when not con­nected. It sends your mes­sage when you are next on­line. So maybe not on­line on CX and their wifi is re­ceive only?

Any­one had bet­ter luck on air­line wifi?

Apolo­gies to CX. Just got replies so it def­i­nitely works. Must be on­line to get replies even over the Pa­cific ocean!

Well done to CX – no­body does it bet­ter!

Are you on there at the mo­ment?

Yes I was im­pa­tient, got replies af­ter about 1015 min­utes so I sup­pose that’s the sig­nal time to the satel­lite to ground and back.

I’m used to mil­i­tary satel­lites that re­ply in two min­utes. It’s an eight hour flight HKG-BNE so a rea­son­able re­sponse.

I was on­board a Lufthansa flight to New York a year ago, when the Cap­tain an­nounced free wifi for the whole plane as an apol­ogy for us­ing the A340 in­stead of the B747, with the stip­u­la­tion it not be used for FaceTime calls.

Of course what did al­most ev­ery­one do, use it for FaceTime, Skype, What­sApp etc. I man­aged to con­vince Mrs LP in a What­sApp call, we had made an emer­gency land­ing in Gan­der and she be­lieved me! My boy came into the F cabin and was show­ing his pals the in­side of the plane in flight! The few emails and What­sApps I sent all went im­me­di­ately.

More re­cently I’ve used it on Lufthansa in Europe, and on Emi­rates and all have worked per­fectly with quite good speeds and in­stant sends and re­ceives. Maybe that’s be­cause we’re closer to the satel­lites.

I have used wifi on SQ be­tween SIN-LHR and it is fast and ef­fi­cient al­beit there is a limit so have to be care­ful what is done, I have also used it on QR with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess but again it works.

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