If you’ve scheduled a trip in a private jet, you’re about to have the experience of a lifetime. Unlike traveling on a commercial jet plane, a private jet offers luxuries and accommodations intended to make your experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Private aircraft management works hard to make sure the experience is unforgettable. From roomy cabins to high-class onboard meals, you’ll feel like royalty during your flight. If this is your first time on a private jet, you may be wondering if you’re expected to tip. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, here is some private jet tipping etiquette.
Tipping Is Normal
It’s important to understand that tipping is never required when you fly with jet charter companies. However, it is customary for passengers to tip the crew. Tipping is nothing to feel embarrassed about and is a great way to show your appreciation for the great service you receive. Failing to tip could give the impression that you are unhappy with one or more aspects of your flight.
As mentioned, there is no set rule for how much you should tip. However, a survey conducted by Business Jet Traveler reveals that approximately 33% of travelers give at least $100. Approximately 27% of travelers who tip reported giving $25 or less. Many suggest that you tip each pilot on your charter jet between $50 and $100 per flight.
Charter jet rates typically include special services such as on-board catering, newspaper delivery and liquor or special items the passengers request. What many passengers don’t realize is that the pilots are often required to personally pick up these items from local grocery stores or liquor stores. In some cases, food and alcohol is catered by an outside company, but in other cases charter jet companies choose to save money by having the pilots do those things themselves.
In addition to making sure you have the food and alcoholic beverages you desire, pilots are often responsible for checking the cabins and making sure everything is in tip-top condition before passengers arrive. They also need to take care of the water tanks and make sure there is enough blue liquid in the lavatory. One pilot traditionally waits outside the cockpit to greet passengers while the other focuses on getting the plane ready to fly.
On top of these responsibilities, pilots also need to clean up after you once you leave. That includes doing dishes, changing bedding, vacuuming, tossing out the trash and cleaning the lavatory. If you’re surprised by everything private jet pilots do, you’re in good company. Most passengers are blissfully unaware of just how hard pilots work to make sure their experience is a good one.
Questions to Ask Yourself
When deciding if and how much to tip your pilots, ask yourself a few questions. Did the pilots give you good service? Were they professional and friendly? Did they fly well and provide a safe landing? Did they pull it off in inclement weather? You may also want to consider the overall price of the charter plane and whether the private aircraft management went above and beyond to make sure your experience was a good one. After answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of whether you should tip and how much is appropriate based on your experience.