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Thread: To Tip The Air Taxi?

  1. #1
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    Default To Tip The Air Taxi?

    I've scrimped and saved and I'm going on my first fly-in hunt this year (next week) to the south slope of the Brooks Range. We'll be dropped off on a gravel bar via C185 and 10 days later, assuming weather doesn't change the rules, get picked up 50 miles downstream. It will take 2 flights in and, hopefully, 3 flights out with critters. My hunting partner and I are wondering what the expectation is, if any, regarding tipping the charter? I mean, is it standard to pay the bill (plenty high, of course!) and walk away or is there a general rule of thumb about tipping?

    Thanks in advance,
    -p

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I am sure answers will be different depending on who you talk to.... On my fly out last year we tipped the support staff but not the owner/operator. That said it really depends on what is provided in the service. If the pilot gives a flight seeing tour to give you the lay of the land near the strip then perhaps a tip is in order. I would also consider tipping if the pilot is an employee. For us the ground support went WAY out of their way to ensure that we were taken care of so a healthy tip was definitely well deserved.

  3. #3
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    wELL, aH, Gee, i don't know, but I know a guy who pays out more than $13000.00 in air support fees some years and he don't tip. For, say, a $3000.00 trip fee with only two hours contact with the airplane driver/owner, he the pilot seems doing mighty well per hour, er?

  4. #4
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    i have not tipped..... One time I really wanted too cause the pilot went above and beyond. But I never have enough money. I guess I could have thrown him a 20 but that would probably be insulting even more than not tipping?

    Its all I can do to scrape the airfare together and save money for the work Im going to miss.

    In my line of work, (service plumbing) I seldom get tips. I never get them from the really poor people and never from the rich people. The middle people once in a blue moon. Sometimes I get Beer, wine, Salmon. Sometimes a 10 or 20 spot.

  5. #5
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'd probably agree, the support staff may be doing a lot for you that isn't really necessary, especially if you wait for weather a lot and they do the run to the grocery/sporting goods store with the company van for you, etc. to make it easier for you. The owners probably have all the expenses figured in, even for the extra fuel to take you flight seeing a bit and don't need or expect any tips.

    When I met my wife, she was working for a top float plane company in Kodiak, cleaning planes, packing bags around, being nice and optimistic about the weather delay agony, etc.

    and she was on the bottom of the payroll but really proud of the company she worked for and doing a LOT for the hunters waiting. She would have been one that a $20 (or even $5) would have really meant something to. So probably, like at a restaurant, you don't need to tip the owner but those who are serving you may not be rolling in cash and still doing a lot to make your experience better, that's where the tip goes.

    Doesn't need to be a lot, to appreciate those doing the grind work that really counts, and usually doesn't pay all that much.
    The Appreciation really means something tho.

    I bet even the Owners would dig seeing that, probably come back to ya on the next trip with them
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  6. #6
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    I recently flew into the Brooks Range for a float hunt. I tipped the pilot $100 after the second load bringing my wife and kids in. I don't think he was expecting it, but he and his partner provided great customer service from my first contact with them until dropping off the last load.

    I fly for a living in a different segment of the industry. Now if I can just figure out how I can get tipped. lol

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    Thanks Birdstrike - your avatar and moniker suggest indeed some experience in a segment of the industry. I likely will go with my gut and part with hard earned funds as the situation seems to dictate.

  8. #8
    Member lvfire's Avatar
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    In these replies I read Customer service alot. Living in Las Vegas where people survive on minimum wage + tips makes for better customer service. I plane ride with no conversation and little knowledge shared would not deserve the gratuity bestowed on a pilot that shared, flew you around a bit helped you load and unload! Yes, I will tip and it will be appropriate to the service provided!

  9. #9

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    We tipped 10% of our total transporter costs on our recent Brooks Range 'bou hunt. It wasn't expected but much appreciated and it allows me to stay in good graces when I call for another ride in the future.
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

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