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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.