DENVER (CBS4) — They take your order, serve up food and drinks, and come back to clean up. But should you tip your flight attendant? Frontier Airlines is encouraging it.

Flight attendants on the Denver-based airline began accepting individual tips on Jan. 1, according to the Chicago Tribune. Frontier made tipping an option three years ago but, until this year, flight attendants were required to pool tips.

“We appreciate the great work of our flight attendants and know that our customers do as well, so [the payment system] gives passengers the option to tip,” the Tribune quoted Frontier spokesman Jonathan Freed as stating.

Passengers who order refreshments get a prompt from Frontier’s payment system that they have the option to leave a tip.

JT Genter, of ThePoints Guy travel blog, shared a photo of the payment tablet displaying a message that reads, “Gratuities Are Appreciated!” It offers customers the options of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent, “custom gratuity” and “I prefer not to leave a gratuity.”

(credit: RUBEN RAMOS iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

“I’ve flown more than 350 flights on 51 different airlines in the past three years, but I’d never experienced an airline ask for a tip,” Genter wrote.

Genter expressed mixed feelings about tipping flight attendants.

“It feels a bit unprofessional for flight attendants to be seeking tips,” he wrote. But he conceded that it might motivate crew members to provide better service.

Some flight attendants and labor unions are reportedly opposed to the tipping policy.

“The Association of Flight Attendants International, a union that represents 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines including Frontier, opposes the tipping policy, saying attendants should instead be paid higher wages,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Frontier Airlines Pilots Overwhelmingly Approve Contract

“Management moved forward with a tipping option for passengers in hopes it would dissuade flight attendants from standing together for a fair contract — and in an effort to shift additional costs to passengers,” the Tribune quoted AFA President Sara Nelson as stating.

The median annual salary for a flight attendant in 2017 was around $50,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Industry experts say no other U.S. carrier gives passengers the ability to tip flight attendants, and they don’t expect other airlines to follow Frontier’s lead,” the Times reported.


Comments (73)
  1. Elise Faur says:

    Outrageous! The airline industry needs to pay their attendants a fair wage and not expect already over-charged customers to pick up the tab. Bad Idea

  2. Steven Bowen says:

    This is stupid. Yet another reason not to fly.

  3. Terence Huffman says:

    Ain’t effing happening.

  4. Mark Marsh says:

    How about NO. Meal and service on an airline is def NOT a tipp able service especially since airlines don’t offer squat in regard to service. Airlines are nothing more than Cattle haulers

  5. Mike Zorn says:

    ““We appreciate the great work of our flight attendants and know that our customers do as well”
    OK, then pay them more…..

  6. Ricky Pucheu says:

    Here’s my tip to all of them. Brush your teeth after every meal.

  7. Kevros Kranz says:

    A tip for all flight attendants: Either protest your employer or look for a better job.

  8. Tim Cogswell says:

    And all these years flight attendants complained that they were not bartenders!

  9. I’m not going to start tipping somewhere else. With the push to $15 in my own state I’ve cut back my tipping at restaurants to $1. I’m definitely not going to start tipping stewardess =, but if you want to go ahead.

  10. Jim Wolfson says:

    Start hiring good-looking young women again and we’ll consider it.
    And ease up on the poopushers.

  11. Eileen Finnin Hargrove says:

    There was a song out many years back call You ain’t nothing but a waitress in the sky. This seems to be making the case that is true.

  12. Janis Susan May says:

    I loathe Frontier airlines, will never fly them, and this new money grab doesn’t surprise me at all. Of course they want the customers to give the attendants money so they don’t have to pay as much. Tipping should be a reward for extraordinary service, not a ‘suggested’ or even expected action. It is the responsibility of the employer – be it cafe, airline or whatever – to pay their employees. They should not expect the customer – who has already paid a hefty price for their flight and probably been nickled and dimed to death over baggage and anything else the airline can think of – to supplement the attendants’ wages. It is a matter of principle.

  13. The Airline should tip me for buying a damn over-priced R/T fare.

  14. Bob Pisani says:

    Here’s tip…I won’t tip. I get better service at Chick-fil-A than I ever get on a domestic airline.

  15. Michael Wolfe says:

    They complain when I call them sky-waitresses/waiters; so why treat them as such.

  16. Next we’ll be tipping bus drivers, the folks at the cleaners, the guys at the laundromat, the girl in the doctor’s office …

  17. Kirk Eidman says:

    can I get a lap dance?

  18. Rick Sander says:

    It is not my responsibility to pay a company’s employees. Period.

    Every company, all they do is look for ways to offset their costs to others, including their customer. Walmart expects the government to pay public benefits to their employees.

    Im also tired to companies with Billion Dollar Margins soliciting donations using various, on the spot shaming methods. ANY COMPANY, if you want to support a charity – give them money.

    Im sick of it.

  19. Robert Allen says:

    Do the Big tippers get the priority lane during an emergency evacuation?

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