I Don’t Tip at Lounges Either


Tipping has been a hot issue since I wrote about how I refuse to tip Uber drivers.

A typical night of cocktails usually results in a $100 bill. What is the proper tip for that bill? 20%? 15? 0%? I went with 20% because of the tequila. On my 5 AM flight the next day, I was wondering if that was a good decision (the tequila, not the tip).

En route to my destination, I stopped at the airport lounge. Usually, I have more than one drink and have never left a tip. First, I never carry cash so the drunk impulse to leave gratuity does not overtake my sensibilities. Second, the point of the lounge is to bypass the exorbitant airport prices. Finally, my lounge access is due to my credit card’s annual fee which is at least $450 depending on the card.

I don’t feel bad for not tipping, and most of the time the bartenders do not care. The only time I had an issue was in the Delta Sky Club Atlanta in the international terminal. There, the bartender, tired of my orders, said, “What, no tip?”

Who’s with me?

Here’s TPOL’s TIP: Go outside in ATL’s Delta Sky Club


  1. In most lounges the drinks are self serve which means no waiting and you get what you want in the right quantity. Having a bartender detracts from that. Why on earth should you tip a bartender when having one is detrimental to the experience?

  2. In response to your first sentence, tipping has been an issue for a bit longer than that.
    As to the tipping in lounges, what the bartender said was pretty crass and tasteless, but when in doubt I tend to tip, with a lot of situational modifiers. No judgment though, just a personal choice.

  3. When I used to drink, I always tipped the bartender, except the ones with those horrible measurer-thingys. (What cheapskate invented those anyway? Probably the same guy who invented the toilet paper dispenser with the tension that makes the sheets break apart too short.) That is rule #1 in any bar if you want strong drinks.

  4. The cheapskates of the world unite, apparently. Bartenders and Uber drivers are at the lower end of the earning spectrum. You (and others here) are probably not. Stop being cheap. A couple of bucks means a lot more to your bartender or Uber driver than it does to you.

    • That’s why I represent employees in Fair Labor Standard wage and hour claims. It’s not that consumers’ job to subsidize the employee’s salary, it’s the company. Anti tipping but pro employee b

  5. I rarely make comments at all, no less about a subject as simplistic as this. But in line with another comment: Fellow FF’s… no matter which cabin we fly in, we’re fortunate enough to be able to leave a dollar or two for someone who probably makes less per week (or month) that we’re spending on the ticket that we’re in the process of flying on. Of course if the person has a mediocre attitude – then you can forget it. But if someone is making an effort to serve us… gee let’s not be afraid to show a bit of appreciation. Might this make sense??

  6. Disagree. The person is still making something for you. Whether it’s the bar you get into free, the lounge that your credit card gets you into, or a private club in the city you pay a membership fee to – you are tipping for service, and all provide that. A couple bucks a drink will do. Are they just opening a can of beer? Fine, don’t tip. But making a Bloody to cure your hangover? Tip.

    • The nurse that you go to in order to get a flu shot does something for you… perhaps quite valuable, it might save you from getting the flu and missing a week of work. I guess you probably tip her a couple hundred?

      • Or the attorney who fights Citi shutdowns. Surely you would give him something extra? At the least you wouldn’t ask for him to discount his rate! That never happens lol

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