Read travel forums long enough and you will learn that there are only two points of universal agreement and disagreement:
- No one can agree on who should receive tips, how much to tip, or why tips should/shouldn’t be awarded.
- Everyone agrees that travel bloggers, and the media in general, are know-nothing idiots who steal from the communities and all of them deserve to be tarred and feathered in the public square.
I couldn’t agree/disagree more.
The latest discussion about the rules of tipping is taking place on Milepoint and centers around the question as to whether hotel front desk clerks should ever be tipped.
FetePerfection is first in with an argument against:
No – why would I unless he/she did something amazing like a very early check-in or great room upgrade but even then…probably not. These people do not need tips to survive like servers, taxi drivers, bellmen etc.
But gregm offers a strong counter:
Keep in mind that a tip is given to compliment service. If the FD agent did something nice for you, why not tip? IMO, a tip is not based on the recipient’s need for it, but a combination of their demonstration to go over and above or out of their way to accommodate a special request, and your desire to make sure they know you noticed and appreciated the effort.
And NYCUA1K even posts a link to a terrific article that appeared in the New York Times on the history of tipping.
While the topic still lacks consensus, I think I see the germ of a KickStarter idea in here somewhere. I for one would be very interested in a website where a select group of world travelers representing all of the regions of the world determine tipping guidelines and post them for the tippers and tippees to see.