Should you tip your flight attendant?

For many travelers, the thought never entered their mind. As a former restaurant owner, I've thought about it but I don't support tipping flight attendants with money. There are other ways to show gratitude, starting with a genuine "thank you for your good service" as you deplane. That goes a long way.

Praising a flight attendant's performance on the airline's Facebook page can be more meaningful than a few bucks, plus the company can use something like that or a short note when they determine bonuses and promotions.

A flight attendant working for Southwest said a passenger walked back to the galley, while they were in the air, and said he had won big in Vegas and wanted to share it. He handed her a peanut bag containing $600. She split it with her crew and they all had a great dinner when they landed.

The Association of Flight Attendants International, which represents 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines, opposes the practice of tipping, but Frontier Airlines approves it. For a few years, Frontier flight attendants pooled their tips amongst all of the flight attendants. But as of January 1, 2019, each flight attendant will keep the tips they make from their own sales.

Saying "keep the change" or waving an Abe Lincoln at flight attendants, however well-intentioned, could set the entire profession on an unfortunate trajectory.

Phil Paleologos is the host The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 am to 10 am. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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