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dianedebuda

Tipping for Wheelchair assist @ airports & embark ship

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Confused on what to expect.  Having only taken 1 trip so far and from what I'd researched then, $5-$10 seemed to be the range.  However, at my departure airport, porter was offended that I didn't offer at least $20. 🤔 At airports, assists to change planes (American and Alaska Airlines) were pleasant, efficient and they left quickly after I thanked them but before I could offer them anything. 😮 Same was true with embarking the Princess ship.  Those personnel just seemed to treat the assistance as an included part of their service and seemed to be focused on getting to the next person that needed their help.

 

So now I'll be making another trip using Southwest (Austin-Houston-San Juan) for a Celebrity Cruise.  Should I be tipping and how much?

 

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I think that Porter needs to find a different job. These are not wait staff, busboys, etc that get paid less than minimum-wage and wait on you for some time.  Often it’s less than 10 minutes. With that said, I often get five to $10. I’ve never had anybody act like it was not sufficient.  Some are surprised to get anything at all. So I don’t think there’s a good answer. Tip what you feel like and are happy with.  Yes, I did Give $20 once.  The person pushed me and somehow dragged a piece of luggage through 2 concourses At high speed so I could make a tight connection.  

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For a general transfer at the airport I tip $5.00-$20.00. It depends on how efficient they are, whether we stop for me to buy a meal, etc., and how much they listen to me 😁!  And, of course, if they get me from "A to E" in the airport in good time.  I tip the cruise transfer people $5.00.

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We do tip where the assistance has been particularly helpful, except in places where they would be offended by tipping. It’s been a very mixed bag in the USA with wheelchair assistance, generally it has been poor at airports, to the degree that we are quite distrustful of assistance there, the assistance person does usually seem to expect a tip in the USA but not elsewhere. Assistance at airports can also be quite poor at European airports, where we’ve had a few interesting experiences. But the assistance provided by the cruise stewards on ships is usually excellent, they don’t seem to expect a tip, but again we do tip where appropriate. 

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For me, it depends on many factors. How far, how fast, how polite, etc. I usually start with $10 and add, depending on those factors. For the woman who was able to get me from one end of a concourse to the opposite end of a different concourse in less than 10 minutes (so I wouldn't miss my connecting flight) in the ATL airport, I gladly gave her $30. She hustled through a huge airport and she was funny and kind. On the other hand, the woman who pushed me at Dulles,  made nasty comments about my weight four times, and dropped me well short of the taxi area; well, she only got $5.

 

On my last cruise, I gave the employee who helped at embarkation $20 because he was very efficient and was able to get me through the crowds quickly. He was also very funny and kind. The man who helped at disembarkation got $25 because he took me all the way to the taxi stand. The previous cruise, the wheelchair assistant dumped me right in the luggage area and I had to hobble to get my luggage, get through customs, and get outside and across the street to get a taxi, so I only gave him $10.

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We always tip at least $5, depending on service, length of getting to Point A to Point B, etc.  

 

We have had interesting experiences with the porters at the cruise ship terminals.   Several have certainly expected a hefty tip, and even have talked about their experiences with others passengers who were such good tippers (or so they said).   The porters actually work for the Port of whatever cruise port you are at.   

 

The wheelchair pushers who work for the cruise line (who take over after the porter's pushing ends) and push you inside the ship to wherever you want to be dropped off and also push you off the cruise ship upon disembarkation always get special consideration as we know they work for so little, are so positive and never act like they expect a tip.  

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On ‎1‎/‎18‎/‎2020 at 6:17 PM, dianedebuda said:

Confused on what to expect.  Having only taken 1 trip so far and from what I'd researched then, $5-$10 seemed to be the range.  However, at my departure airport, porter was offended that I didn't offer at least $20. 🤔 At airports, assists to change planes (American and Alaska Airlines) were pleasant, efficient and they left quickly after I thanked them but before I could offer them anything. 😮 Same was true with embarking the Princess ship.  Those personnel just seemed to treat the assistance as an included part of their service and seemed to be focused on getting to the next person that needed their help.

 

So now I'll be making another trip using Southwest (Austin-Houston-San Juan) for a Celebrity Cruise.  Should I be tipping and how much?

 

The deal is that no tip is expected.  Keep that in mind.  Each case the employees are regular paid employees.  I'm not saying not to give a tip, just saying a tip is not required or expected.   Many airlines will check a person's wheelchair, either battery or push, and a person needs to get from one section to another.  It is easier for the airlines to contract/hire the pushers, than to arrange your wheelchair at each stop. As far as the ship is concerned, again it is a service, but those employees are different, because most of them volunteer for the duties on turn around day, to make extra money (including tips).  So tip what you want, but know it is up to you to decide how much.  There is no right or wrong amount.

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I was confused recently on whether to tip an Amtrak porter or not, so I didn't. Amtrak employees make good money, more than I've ever gotten paid at a job. He was assisting us to an area that he said we couldn't access on our own. I said we didn't need assistance but he said we were required to have assistance, I don't know. He only took us to an elevator and we went down to the track. He did help get the lift and help get the wheelchair on the train, something I COULDN'T have done on my own though. 

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When someone assists us in boarding any method of transport we tip.   We love the Amtrak porters and couldn’t take the train without them.    In NYC, he gathered our bags and took us up a freight elevator.   He also flagged a taxi for us.  I can’t imagine not tipping folks who make our lives so much easier.

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in my opinion $5 is on the cheap side to be tipping. especially if you are on the hefty side and a little skinny someone is pushing you thru the airport. these people are making minimum wage. you splurged on your cruise dont you think they deserve something for pushing you around and getting you to your destination w/o hassell.

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For us it depends on the length of the trip and how difficult it is. If they take us through security and help with the bags, we usually give $20. From the plane, usually $10 - $15 unless they take us through customs. We have paid as much as $30 if it's complex and involves a terminal change such as the time we went through JFK with a long wait for customs (they took us to the front of the line) then on to the domestic Delta terminal. It was certainly worth it for us. 

 

Kate 

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