When it comes to business, time is money. Corporate travel agency Travelocity Business(SM) knows this remains important for business travel. Amy Ziff, Travelocity Business’ travel pro, has consulted hotel insiders and reveals the ins and outs on tipping to get the most out of every business trip, whether that means getting great reservations from the hotel concierge or speedy service from the valet.“Business travelers want to be perceived as savvy during their trips and they often utilize different services than vacationers during their hotel stay,” says Ziff. “Business travelers may be road warriors or they may be new to the road. In either case, they often require special assistance to impress clients, and good tipping practices are just a part of the business traveler’s road arsenal.”
Due to their knowledge of the cities they work in, good concierge services should top the list of resources at hand for many business travelers. It’s important to recognize and reward this valuable assistance with everything from a courteous thank you to the monetary tip, depending on the service.
“If you’re asking the concierge for dinner suggestions, no tip is necessary,” says Ziff. “If he or she secures you a table at the hottest restaurant in town, a tip is due.”
— A $1-5 tip is generally sufficient for duties such as
organizing a meeting space or gift deliveries.
— A $5-10 tip is suitable for A-list dinner
People should always feel free to give a tip commensurate to the job performed, says Ziff. For example, if a concierge exceeds a guest’s expectations, additional gratuity may be appropriate.
Additionally, Ziff divulges the top hints on tipping etiquette for everyone from baggage handlers and bell attendants, to restaurant wait staff and hotel housekeepers and notes that baggage handlers (such as sky caps at the airport or train station), bell attendants, car valets, doormen and shuttle and taxi drivers should always be tipped.
— Baggage Handlers: $1 a bag is standard, more if the
luggage is very heavy
— Hotel Doormen: A few dollars for the duration of your stay
— Shuttle and Taxi Drivers: 10 percent of the fare is
acceptable (or $1-2 per passenger for a free shuttle)
— Valet: Either $1-2 per trip or a more substantial tip at
the end of your stay to one valet. Valets usually pool
their tips and this is often preferable for travelers
making frequent trips in and out of the hotel.
— Restaurant Wait Staff: A tip of 15-20 percent is normal
for a meal with good service.
Industry experts agree that even though tips and service fees are often included, if a hotel room service waiter goes above and beyond the call of duty, an additional tip is certainly a nice touch.
According to Ziff, the practice of tipping hotel housekeepers is often the most confusing, with opinions ranging from leaving a tip every day, leaving one tip at the end of a hotel stay, to no tip required at all. Whether you tip with your pocket change or leave $1-2 for each day of your stay, either tactic is fine, says Ziff.
“House maids often clean the same rooms each day, and it is nice to recognize their efforts, especially when they have performed turn-down service, brought additional towels, and clearly cleaned with care,” says Ziff. “Often the more luxurious the hotel, the savvier the guest and tipping practice.”
Ziff notes, however, that is important to never ask for change when tipping as this can put the person being tipped in an awkward position. The best form is to either carry a supply of small bills, or get change and revisit the tip at later time, if necessary. Most importantly, though, tipping should always be accompanied by a sincere smile and thank you.
“When in doubt, I always operate under the premise that you tip for a service performed with excellence and you tip more generously for something that exceeds your expectations,” says Ziff. “Remember though, most concierges say that often a gracious thank you and a smile is enough. So say thank you with a smile and mean it! And remember the saying, what goes around comes around, and that in business a little good tipping karma can never hurt.”