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Thread: Tipping bush pilots/operations?

  1. #1

    Default Tipping bush pilots/operations?

    Is it customary to tip a bush pilot, or bush plane operation? Is it expected? Yes? No? How much?

    Sometimes I have the same pilot, sometimes several pilots on different legs. The bill usually is around $1,000 and up.

    I have tipped, and I haven't. If I do, its usually around 5%. I've also had a pilot/owner that did not accept a tip. Services vary from bare bones (just load the plane and fly, no other services available), to arranging limited basic supplies (e.g., propane, stove oil, loaning containers for stove oil) but that's been it. I've dealt with individual operators (one plane, one pilot) and larger (3-5 planes and pilots).

    I know that with the operations there are mechanics, people at the desk, people who load the plane, that may be different from the exact pilot you had in the sky but play an important role.

  2. #2


    hmmm, lots of views but no replies - - - bump it to the top:

    anyone have an opinion on tipping/not tipping bush pilots?

  3. #3
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska


    While it is polite to initially turn down a slight overpayment, they are actually very much appreciated. As long as you do not make a big deal about being Mr. Big Tipper, since there is a point where you can step on someone's pride..
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member

  4. #4
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default If it was above and beyond service...

    then heck yeah tip. I wouldn't say its customary though. But if you think about it we tip out waitresses for bring our food unharmed. I guess it should be a little more common.

  5. #5

    Default Tip if you feel the service was good...

    ...for me, that means being dropped off and picked up reasonably close to estimated dates and times, if the weather was not a factor; and, if I felt like they flew in a safe and responsible manner. I have tipped $50 or $100 for services that cost from $1200 to $1600, hope that helps a little. The pilots I tipped seemed to appreciate the gesture.


  6. #6


    Interesting and oftern overlooked topic. Thanks for posting this.
    Cold Zero
    Member: S.C.I., N.R.A. Life Endowment Member & L.E. Tactical Firearms Instr.


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