I am pretty much in agreement with you, Richard. I am perfectly willing to tip generously when it has some impact on the quality of service rendered by someone whose compensation is primarily from tips. However, I frequently go to airports where I am forced to deal with poor service and line personnel that couldn’t care less about my plane. Many times the plane is fueled while I am gone, so I wouldn’t know who to tip. And has anyone been to a Signature Flight Support lately? In Savannah, GA, they bought out the only competitor on the field and immediately raised the fuel costs to $3.30-$3.40/gallon plus overnight parking fees unless you buy a bunch of fuel. Our company turbo prop pilot told me they were getting charged $3.50/gallon for jet fuel! There is no place to park except at Signature, so they get a shot at every pilot that lands. I know this is not the lineman’s fault, but his tip is going into Signature’s pocket, they can certainly afford to pay him a decent wage at those fuel prices. Even after numerous complaints to the airport commission about the exhorbitant prices, Signature still stands firm.
Signature’s tactic is no different than the high priced Radisson hotel I stayed in (also in Savannah, GA). They ONLY have valet parking, and you have to pay another $13/night for a place for your car to sleep. When the valet brings your car down, he also expects a tip. What a racket!
Like Richard, I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but the tipping thing is now taken for granted by too many.