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Thread: Newbie Question on Tipping

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Question on Tipping

    I'm booked with an air charter to be flown in/out for a moose float hunt. Is it customary to tip the air charter? If so, what percentage? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default

    You sure can and I'm sure they'll appreciate it! How much is up to you...as a guide to me a tip is a bonus, nice to get but the world doesnt end when they dont come.

  3. #3

    Default

    To clarify the question, I was asking about tipping the air transport, not the guide. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Default

    To me, a tip is EARNED by giving exceptional service - above and beyond what the job description calls for. Example, if you're weathered-in, and you've got a talented bush pilot who finds a teeny little hole and punches you through to get home on time... that might be worth something extra. They sure didn't NEED to do that... just sit there on the ground and wait it out might have been what their job called for.

    The amount, and even the form of the tip is up to you. I feel better about the small change given me by a young child than I do $100 from some wealthy snob tossing money around. Also, tips for guides and transporters can come in the way of future business and referrals too...

    Re-read some of the recent threads on tipping here... while they're not directly addressing air transporters, there are many good common ideas that will certainly help you out.

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
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  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Tipping your pilot

    The short answer to your question is no. In my experience it is not customary to tip a pilot, it is unusual to do so. Your pilot will not be expecting you to tip him or her.

    Naturally those who do tip are remembered though, and if this is what you want, go for it.

    As to when tipping is appropriate, I agree with Case. Tip them when they do something exceptional (though I don't think I'd want my pilot flying in marginal weather- no harm intended, Case, I understand what you're saying). But if they helped you put your hunt together, provided harvest data, or other assistance to help make you more successful, that would be considered above and beyond. I would reward them for that, keeping in mind that the tip may be more appropriately given to the person who helped you on the phone than the pilot, but not always.

    Hope it helps.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    The short answer to your question is no. In my experience it is not customary to tip a pilot, it is unusual to do so. Your pilot will not be expecting you to tip him or her.

    Naturally those who do tip are remembered though, and if this is what you want, go for it.

    As to when tipping is appropriate, I agree with Case. Tip them when they do something exceptional (though I don't think I'd want my pilot flying in marginal weather- no harm intended, Case, I understand what you're saying). But if they helped you put your hunt together, provided harvest data, or other assistance to help make you more successful, that would be considered above and beyond. I would reward them for that, keeping in mind that the tip may be more appropriately given to the person who helped you on the phone than the pilot, but not always.

    Hope it helps.

    -Mike
    So Mike. if you go somewhere and take a cab.........you don't tip the driver? I think it is customary and not unusual to do so; but they don't let me get out much so what do I know. Actually; I do know, tipping charter pilots is very, very common.

    Anyway; sounds like the Believer is NOT doing a guided hunt and according to his handle........I seriously doubt that he wants to be remembered for tipping, it seems to me he has another reason he would want to be remembered.

    So, if the person on the phone providing the details and coordinating the drop/pickup times is just doing his job........like the pilot would be, the guy on the phone gets the tip?

    Maybe he should just tip the owner of the Charter service........kind of like the case of tipping the contracting guide instead of the "guiding guide"?


  7. #7
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    Default Tipping

    I think Mike is off base on this one, If I was a aircraft charter service he would not be on the top of my list of customers. Why would you tip someone who you put you life in there hands and takes you to the game(half the battle), when will tip people for carrying a burger and a beer fifty feet. What the difference if tipping a guide and a air taxi. They both take you to the game and you put your life in their hands. So don't tip Mike if your going on one of his hunts. I tip and have created some good relationships with the air taxi services I've flown with. I have tipped Homer Air, Northern Air Trophy, Alaska Bush Sports, and Ward air out of Juneau. For all means if you have crappy service dont tip, but the pilots dont make alot of money, most just love their jobs.

    Terry

  8. #8
    Member KRS's Avatar
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    Tips are earned for extras.

    If they fly you to the site and pick you up like the contract calls for, then they earned their flat rate.

    You don't get something for nothing.

    That's my opinion,

    KRS

  9. #9
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think Mike is off base on this one, If I was a aircraft charter service he would not be on the top of my list of customers. Why would you tip someone who you put you life in there hands and takes you to the game(half the battle), when will tip people for carrying a burger and a beer fifty feet. What the difference if tipping a guide and a air taxi. They both take you to the game and you put your life in their hands. So don't tip Mike if your going on one of his hunts. I tip and have created some good relationships with the air taxi services I've flown with. I have tipped Homer Air, Northern Air Trophy, Alaska Bush Sports, and Ward air out of Juneau. For all means if you have crappy service dont tip, but the pilots dont make alot of money, most just love their jobs.

    Terry
    Terry- As you're disembarking from an Alaska Air 737 that just flew you from Seattle to L.A., do you slip the pilot and co-pilot a $50? What about the air traffic controllers in the tower who REALLY had your life in their hands? Seems to me Alaska Air qualifies as an "air taxi service"... they just need bigger facilities and haul more people at a time.

    Maybe I'm getting older and more picky, but do I tip someone to carry my burger and beer 50 feet? Nope. When I owned a high-volume F&B business, my crew were paid some of the highest wages in town for their jobs... just so they didn't have to depend on tips.

    As with KRS's comments, I agree that tips are for extras that aren't in the job description. (I also hate the concept of a "tip bucket"... especially in fast food restaurants and on whale watching boats, but that's a topic for another forum, I think!)

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10

    Default Easy Big Fella

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think Mike is off base on this one, If I was a aircraft charter service he would not be on the top of my list of customers. Why would you tip someone who you put you life in there hands and takes you to the game(half the battle), when will tip people for carrying a burger and a beer fifty feet. What the difference if tipping a guide and a air taxi. They both take you to the game and you put your life in their hands. So don't tip Mike if your going on one of his hunts. I tip and have created some good relationships with the air taxi services I've flown with. I have tipped Homer Air, Northern Air Trophy, Alaska Bush Sports, and Ward air out of Juneau. For all means if you have crappy service dont tip, but the pilots dont make alot of money, most just love their jobs.

    Terry
    OK - you disagree with Mike, we get that. But saying the air taxis "put you on game" might be stretching it a bit, many air taxis simply put you somewhere they can land conveniently, that's why we all encourage people to do their research so that they can weed those outfits out if possible.

    And can you leave the "pilots don't make a lot of money" out of it? If they truly love what they do, that's priceless, and they're lucky to earn a living doing that. If they don't charge enough to live off their passion, they either need to alter their price structure or take up another vocation.

  11. #11
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    Default Disagree

    MDhunter I disagree with you also. You can look at maps and pictures all you want but when it comes down to it, only the pilot knows where he can land and where he will land. Most of the good pilots that live and do their business in the same area, will know the game and movements better than the average hunter, especially one coming from the lower 48 or someone that has not hunted the area before. Alot of operators will hire pilots staight out of school(seen this in many places in alaska) and thats why some pick the safer places to land. Try this on for size you do all your research and decide where you want to hunt and the air taxi operator takes you there and there are already 8 people in the drainage(point A to B). Technically they should say you want dropped off there and say have a good trip or go back to airport with your mentality. But, any good pilot normally will offer you other options and fly you somewhere else. There are lazy people and bad service in every service profession, but only the Pilot in command knows where he can land or not land. Maybe if you tipped the pilot he would be willing to get you closer, I don't know. I dont know if your a pilot or not but, some days places are easy to get into and other days because of wind or temp, would be impossible. Oh, yea, lets not forget that most people want to do this with the kitchen sink packed into there bags. I've not a commerical pilot, but have been flying for 4 years will tell you things aint always as easy as they look.

    Terry

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KRS View Post
    Tips are earned for extras.

    If they fly you to the site and pick you up like the contract calls for, then they earned their flat rate.

    You don't get something for nothing.

    That's my opinion,

    KRS
    Agreed... tips anywhere need to be earned. IMHO tipping has gotten out of hand. It seems everyone "expects" a tip now days.

    Example: The coffee stand girl etc. Why does she need a tip above the $4 I just paid a stinkin coffee???? Is it because she made it well?? Uhh well I hope it's good for $4 !!!! And if she's not getting paid enough and "needs" the tips, get another job! If I go in a remodel someones house, and give them a bill, I don't "expect" 15% on top of it LOL

    If that's what it needs to be for me to survive, then I need to just raise my prices 15%!!!

    Just my thoughts. And yes I do tip, just not out of habit and for the sake of it.

  13. #13
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    Default Pfft.

    All the pilot does is drive the plane.. Tip the mechanic.

  14. #14
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Tip everyone!!

    The problem is that everyone wants and EXPECTS tips. They need to be earned, everyone knows in their heart is a tip is warrented and has been earned. Do so accordingly.

  15. #15
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default in simple terms

    So some schmuck just dumped you in the middle of the Alaska wilds, an hour's flight time from the nearest vestige of civilization, and says he'll be back in a week to pick you up. Do you want this schmuck to like you, or harbor feelings of ill will to you? The LAST guy I want to be ticked off at me is my pilot! Personally, I'd like to see a plane coming back to the strip in a week. Try to be the type of guy the pilot would like to spend an hour in a tiny confined space with, give him a tip, and enjoy the hunt! He may not be expecting it, it may not be a customary thing with him. If so, he'll appreciate it even more. If it is expected, then you've taken out a good insurance policy. Pretty much a no brainer for me.

  16. #16

    Default Out Of Control!!!

    Tipping was /is/ and always should be a reward for exceptional service. The same way bonuses are paid to excecutives. Problem is that tips and bonuses are now paid and expected just for showing up to work! As for your issue regarding tipping the pilot, may I say that having been in the pilot's position many times the most appreciated tips I received where ones no amt of money could buy -words of appeciation and gratitude.

  17. #17
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    Default Pilots duties

    First I never said anyone should expect a tip, second the pilot does more than fly the plane. Last time I checked, after he loads that bloody moose or caribou he also has to clean the mess. I've had pilots bring out six packs inbetween trips of meet and people, Heck I've even had a friend that the pilot brought out a whole pizza. Treat people the way you want treated and next time they will remember you.

    Terry

  18. #18
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Really dangerous advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    ...Try this on for size you do all your research and decide where you want to hunt and the air taxi operator takes you there and there are already 8 people in the drainage(point A to B). Technically they should say you want dropped off there and say have a good trip or go back to airport with your mentality. But, any good pilot normally will offer you other options and fly you somewhere else....Terry
    Terry,

    Agree or disagree on tipping, but the LAST thing I would advise is an unscheduled, UNDOCUMENTED, last-minute change in your drop point that was thought of in the aircraft on the way in. What if, God forbid, the aircraft suffers a mechanical problem or the pilot has an aneurysm and crashes into a mountain on the way back to base? Now you are stuck in a remote location and the only guy who knows where you are just got himself killed. Then you drop your satphone in the river, so you have no means of notifying anyone when the plane does not show up. This is really dangerous advice, friend.

    It's one thing to have a DOCUMENTED back-up plan written down and given to the air service (and someone at home) before departure, but this last minute stuff is the sort of things that lead to real disaster. If you don't think so, grab a copy of Larry Kaniut's account of Carl McCunn's abandonment and subsequent death in the Brooks Range, as recounted in "Danger Stalks the Land". McCunn's circumstances were different, but the results the same.

    Folks, make a detailed hunt plan, and STICK TO IT! If something goes wrong, at least someone will know where to look for you.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  19. #19
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Tipping your pilot

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    So Mike. if you go somewhere and take a cab.........you don't tip the driver? I think it is customary and not unusual to do so; but they don't let me get out much so what do I know. Actually; I do know, tipping charter pilots is very, very common.

    Anyway; sounds like the Believer is NOT doing a guided hunt and according to his handle........I seriously doubt that he wants to be remembered for tipping, it seems to me he has another reason he would want to be remembered.

    So, if the person on the phone providing the details and coordinating the drop/pickup times is just doing his job........like the pilot would be, the guy on the phone gets the tip?

    Maybe he should just tip the owner of the Charter service........kind of like the case of tipping the contracting guide instead of the "guiding guide"?

    I don't know why I respond to stuff like this, but here goes. Maybe something good will come of it.

    The original question was not "what would you do", but "what is customary"? I have been flying around various parts of Alaska for over 20 years and can tell you that tipping pilots is not customary. It is part of the way some folks do business (clearly it is YOUR custom), but it is not the norm. I'm not defending or condemning the practice, just reporting on what may be "expected".

    The rest of your post only serves to point out how ridiculous it gets when a good thing is taken too far.

    -Mike
    Last edited by Brian M; 03-31-2008 at 13:57.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Come again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I think Mike is off base on this one, If I was a aircraft charter service he would not be on the top of my list of customers. Why would you tip someone who you put you life in there hands and takes you to the game(half the battle), when will tip people for carrying a burger and a beer fifty feet. What the difference if tipping a guide and a air taxi. They both take you to the game and you put your life in their hands. So don't tip Mike if your going on one of his hunts. I tip and have created some good relationships with the air taxi services I've flown with. I have tipped Homer Air, Northern Air Trophy, Alaska Bush Sports, and Ward air out of Juneau. For all means if you have crappy service dont tip, but the pilots dont make alot of money, most just love their jobs.

    Terry
    Hello Terry,

    Like Avalanche, you have misread my post. I did not say tipping was a bad idea, or that I don't do it. The original question was whether tipping is customary. While it may be customary for some individuals to do it, it is not a universally-expected practice, as is tipping a waitress or a cab driver. While I have never known a pilot to refuse a tip, I have seen many of them pleasantly surprised when one was offered. The reason they were surprised proves my point.

    -Mike
    Last edited by Brian M; 03-31-2008 at 13:57.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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