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Thread: tipping air taxi

  1. #1
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    Default tipping air taxi

    Just a simple question, not looking to start a big debate. Do you tip your pilot? Yes/No? If so how much?

  2. #2
    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    It's been discussed http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...p-The-Air-Taxi There are probably other posts, try searching.

  3. #3
    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    This past year we brought money for tipping, but service was crappy so no tip. That might change if i was getting a flight out of the woods. But we flew up the Ivashak and floated to trucks. Now a good question would be do you tip on the load in, so you are on his mind for when it comes to getting out of the woods? or just wait until whole trip is done?

  4. #4

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    Just my personal experience-- After of 30 years of professional guiding world wide. These are a few thoughts. In Russia MI-8 folks would be too many to tip- at 4 people running the helo. who are already been paid too much. In Australia we usually go in by bush truck taxi with lots of folks and dropped off at head waters and out at another river by large tour boat, with lots of sight seeing customers. They have already been paid.
    On remote Alaska or personal stuff I say YES, and for sure here, if it is a season guide and not owner. Having owned my company for over 30 years I do not expect a tip, even if I feel I deserve one, by clients-,my guides do.
    Best bet is what service you receve. Either a drop off or fully guided.
    If they are not a zillion -air lodge owner-- take care of your pilot or the guy that keeps you alive and warm and fed and safe and shows you what to do for a great hunt. Especially if he does the skinning for you. Its your KARMA not mine. Give him or her what you would for that steak or fish dinner girl you would when you get back to town.
    Just my humble thoughts.
    Contrary to popular belief Guiding wilderness Adventures is a HARD job. Logistics, equipment, food, client personality- expectations-skill-ECT!
    It is your choice.
    Goo

  5. #5

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    I would like to clarify, that I meant the same % of the bill you would give for your home coming meal. Take care of the folks that take care of you. A short season for most of us.
    Goo

  6. #6

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    You bet I tip, and I do it every time. I have no standard amount, but $150 to $500 in gratis cash always gets a grin. I've had my pilot(s) do some very remarkable things to help keep me hunting, and I have no problem looking them in the eye...saying a sincere thanks..."here...take your wife to dinner and go have some fun".

  7. #7
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    Great thread, doing my first fly-in this fall and had not considered tipping the pilot. Now I know!

  8. #8

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    Just last year....

    I arrived in Fairbanks a day earlier than my partner, so I spent the day picking up supplies and groceries for an extended moose hunt. Everything was in order on the day of our departure, and we left Fairbanks to fly in. The weather was nasty...a cold rain...and we were pretty well whipped by the time everything was shuttled in and camp established. That's when my partner looked at me and said, "I hope you have a bunch of groceries stuffed in your gear somewhere, 'cause I'm not seeing them anywhere". It turns out we somehow misplaced them and they were lost. My wife learned of this via a satellite call, and she sent our pilot's wife a text message. (Think 'sat phone to Ohio...text back to Alaska...etc) I then received a text via satellite saying not to worry. A couple days later the Cub sailed in silently and a package was dropped. Our pilot and his wife actually went out and bought us a large amount of food supplies (including a whole roasted XL chicken), gourmet cheeses, meats, spreads and so on. We ate like crazy until the end of the hunt. Our pilot never even mentioned the cost of this when he handed us our flight invoices. I allowed plenty for the groceries and then a good tip on top of that...and I told him he had definitely gone above and beyond typical air service. I can't speak for anyone else, but a good pilot is a critical element of a remote drop hunt...and I like seeing mine happy.

  9. #9
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    Just last year....

    I arrived in Fairbanks a day earlier than my partner, so I spent the day picking up supplies and groceries for an extended moose hunt. Everything was in order on the day of our departure, and we left Fairbanks to fly in. The weather was nasty...a cold rain...and we were pretty well whipped by the time everything was shuttled in and camp established. That's when my partner looked at me and said, "I hope you have a bunch of groceries stuffed in your gear somewhere, 'cause I'm not seeing them anywhere". It turns out we somehow misplaced them and they were lost. My wife learned of this via a satellite call, and she sent our pilot's wife a text message. (Think 'sat phone to Ohio...text back to Alaska...etc) I then received a text via satellite saying not to worry. A couple days later the Cub sailed in silently and a package was dropped. Our pilot and his wife actually went out and bought us a large amount of food supplies (including a whole roasted XL chicken), gourmet cheeses, meats, spreads and so on. We ate like crazy until the end of the hunt. Our pilot never even mentioned the cost of this when he handed us our flight invoices. I allowed plenty for the groceries and then a good tip on top of that...and I told him he had definitely gone above and beyond typical air service. I can't speak for anyone else, but a good pilot is a critical element of a remote drop hunt...and I like seeing mine happy.

    This guys name and service is worth mentioning.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  10. #10
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    All I can say is that there is a difference, and therefor different circumstances concerning tips, when a pilot works for a guide or outfitter, or the pilots themselves ARE the owners of the guide/outfitter service. As an owner /slash/ pilot/guide/outfitter it is their job to cater to the people they guide and/or "outfit" and that also includes bringing in gear, food, (whatever) that may be needed throughout the hunt, so their fee is based around this. If a pilot contracts himself out to the guide/outfitter and does things for you above and beyond just flying then that is something quite different.

    Just something to take into consideration when thinking about gratuities.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  11. #11
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    In my limited experience with charters (3) I always tipped about $100. I fly for a cargo airline and don't receive, or expect tips when I do what I can to make sure somebody's boxes get there. However, when another pilot has flown my wife, 2 kids, and I into the bush I'm appreciative of reliable, safe service under challenging conditions.

  12. #12
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Hire an air taxi to fly you in to a friend's remote cabin? You pay the going hourly rate for that aircraft. Tip depends on the vibe from the pilot.
    Go sightseeing or fishing for the day? Usually a package deal equal to a slight premium on the hourly rate. Tip depends on the vibe from the pilot.

    Going hunting???? Better leave the house with a greased butt 'cause you're getting screwed. For one there's a good chance you're not getting flown in where you want if all your months of painstaking research and homework lead you to a drainage that "already BELONGS to a guide". And even if you're at your drop-off area first there's no stopping some transporters from piling a bunch of other groups on top of you.

    I never blame the pilot of taxi for things they cannot control, and to be honest the only thing I expect is a well maintained bird and a competent pilot. But flying hunters is a racket and no, I don't tip my air taxi on hunts because I'm already being overcharged from the get go. (notable exception: Andrews Air in Kodiak)
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  13. #13

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    Where does the tipping end? Charge me for my service. That is what I want to pay. I don't want to have to "wonder" if I should be tipped. Does anyone tip the clerk at the store? The police officer? The teacher? I understand tipping waitresses, but tipping has become over board and is ridiculous. You expect a tip at a service that your being paid well to perform?

  14. #14

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    I've had flight seeing pilots that expected a tip - Those are the ones that do not get one. I do not believe it is a requirement to fly, however, I do believe the quality of service you are provided determines tipping protocol. I had a very positive experience with the pilot who flew me out for my hunt and he received a tip. I have no problem keeping the pilots happy to stay in the business, but my pilot wasn't charging anything extraordinary like I have seen for some hunts.

  15. #15
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    It depends… I tip for great service. If the guy is basically "fee for hire" and is dropping me where I told him to then I don't feel a tip is really warranted in most cases. If a pilot is providing more than a basic service then the tip is commensurate with the level of that service.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  16. #16
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    I have tipped the times I have been flown out to hunt. The pilot flew us up and down some bowls and valleys looking for game. It was more than just a typical drop off I suppose. $50 seemed suitable, and I don't regret it.

  17. #17
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    I rarely tip and when I do it is for great service above and beyond the contracted service. In the case of a transporter for a fly in hunt, I am already paying for a safe and congenial flight to and from my chosen drop off location. For sure if a pilot went above and beyond to bring me in groceries that I had forgotten or something like that then I would tip. Other than something like that there isn't much opportunity for a transporter to earn a tip in my opinion because if they were to give you hunting suggestions, help packing meat, skinning, spotting, etc, then they are breaking the law.

  18. #18

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    The tipping topic always pulls me in.

    I'm a guy who thinks tipping is generally way overdone for normal and expected service. Some industries are so reliant on tipping that their wage structure is built around it, and to not tip these people is to harm them economically. Sadly, they can give basic service and mostly count on a tip. Think of the average server at Denny's or a shuttle driver at the airport. Where it gets 'gray' is when you start talking about tipping a professional person in a routine manner. You don't tip a flight attendant...dental hygienist...registered nurse...CPA...electrician...etc. They all may have given you personal service, however. You don't tip an Alaska Airlines pilot, either...even if he holds the plane for your late boarding. Then comes the bush pilot who has a job of flying you and your gear in and out of rough country. If he approaches it like mowing the lawn, no tip is necessary and certainly not indicated. He does the basics; he makes the basic. On the other hand, some guys are just golden. Their skills and safety records are good, but their attention to each client/passenger/hunter's needs is individualized and they go the extra mile or effort to help you. You generally know when someone is reaching beyond the typical service level and doing considerably more than the basics. Those are the people who deserve a tip in my mind. I give it because I like saying thanks and providing a gift. On the other hand, the industries which simply always anticipate a tip (and usually get it) aren't always motivated toward excellence. The difference-maker is the individual.

  19. #19
    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    This is my first fly in, so I never have. I think I posted in the thread that it was new to me.

  20. #20
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    I dont have a problem with tipping for going above and beyond. But if you expect $3500, charge me $3500 not $3000 and then expect a tip on top of it.

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