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Flight Instruction Etiquette  
User currently offlineRNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 826 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

I am taking my step-son on an introductory flight lesson tomorrow. They are charging us $105 for an hour-long flight. My question-- is it proper to tip the instructor afterwards? I know instructors are professionals and might take offense at being offered a tip. On the other hand, I figure the FBO pockets most of the profit, and instructors aren't usually wealthy. So what do you think? Maybe $20?

Thanks for any advice.


I'm sorry, ma'am, I don't work for the airline.
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAlmbluzman From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 182 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3905 times:

offer the tip. if the instructor refuses (as any professional should), just know that you probably made him feel more appreciated than the money itself would. i received a tip once after having flown a scenic flight for 3 gentlemen and after refusing it twice, i accepted when they insisted. hope your step-son enjoys the flight!

User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

I've never heard of doing this before. Instructors may not be wealthy - but they aren't paid minimum wage. The FBO does pocket a lot of the money, but it's not all profit. It goes into paying for fuel and operational costs. If I ever become an instructor, I wouldn't expect tips at all.

User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3864 times:

I'm training to be an instructor, and I personally wouldn't expect to recieve a tip at all. It's a very kind gesture though!

User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

Don't tip. I don't tip my flight instructor. I did buy him a gift certificate for a nice dinner during the holidays.

User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3800 times:

Tip all you like in the US. Please don't do it when you travel to countries where it is not the norm.


B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3616 times:



Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 5):
Tip all you like in the US.

That isn't the best advice. Untipped positions like FA's etc. You make the person uncomfortable by offering. If you want to thank them for outstanding service write a letter or just thank them.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

When I took my flight training, I would take my instructor out for dinner on a fairly regular basis. On cross country flights I made it my treat for the $100 hamburger and when we were done with the PPL I got him a new flight bag because he was alway complaining about how his was falling apart.

I think that gestures such as these are better than outright cash gifts.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5343 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

Never heard of ever tipping a flight instructor.

Sure, buy him/her lunch or dinner on the cross-country's, and a beer at the end of the day.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2223 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

Yea I wouldnt tip an instructor. I would just thank them, possibly tell the chief pilot what a good job they did, and give em a gift certificate during christmas. Thats about it.

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6682 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3573 times:

I do think tipping has gone overboard in the US. I much prefer the idea of expressing your appreciation with gifts, dinners, etc. It conveys much more than tipping.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineRNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 826 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

Sounds like the votes are in... I won't tip. Besides, this is just an introductory lesson to try to get my step-son interested in something besides computer gaming. I hope he enjoys today's lesson and signs up for more. If he establishes an on-going relationship with a regular instructor, then I like the idea of an occasional lunch and a Christmas gift.

Well, it's about 55 degrees F. at RNO today, bright sunshine, and the wind is calm. Sounds like a great day for flying. Thank you all for your input.



I'm sorry, ma'am, I don't work for the airline.
User currently offlineCXB744 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3523 times:

Speaking as a Flight Instructor,

I have accepted tips from students and first time flyers before, but it is rare. Treating the instructor to lunch on a cross country is the norm.
Only tip if this flight is the best thing you ever experienced.

Have fun!!!



What is it? It's A 747-400, but that's not important right now.
User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4845 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3463 times:



Quoting Sevenair (Reply 3):
I did buy him a gift certificate for a nice dinner during the holidays.

That's a great idea!

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 8):
Sure, buy him/her lunch or dinner on the cross-country's, and a beer at the end of the day.

Also nice.....

When I was in flight training, it was customary to buy your instructor a bottle of his favorite booze when you passed your checkride. But times have changed, this was back in 1971. Therefore as a CFI I have received many bottles from students.
Also, a lot of students are spending their last nickel on their flying lessons. So lot of times I'd buy the lunch on X-C flights.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
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