Do you guys tip the front desk agent when checking-in?

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by ninja319, Apr 4, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. ninja319

    ninja319 Member

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    What are your thoughts? experience? Of course, assuming you are not on business trips.
     
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  2. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    No - why would I unless he/she did something amazing like a very early check-in or great room upgrade but even then...probably not. These people do not need tips to survive like servers, taxi drivers, bellmen etc.
     
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  3. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    I agree with FetePerfection. Perhaps a modest tip is worth considering to the front desk agent for a comp upgrade that you couldn't otherwise receive. At least I'd consider that a good investment. Otherwise, the concierge, bellmen, room service, and house keeping folks would likely be more tip-worthy.

    I'll share a story from recent overseas travel, where I had checked out of the room, and the house keeping (a man and a woman) almost immediately started cleaning my room. Shortly thereafter, I stood in the hotel lobby after paying my hotel bill, waiting for a cab to take me and my luggage to the airport. The couple hurriedly came down to the lobby with 2 small bags of clothing that I had placed in a separate dresser from the rest of my clothes, and neglected to double-check before leaving the room. They quickly went returned to their work.

    I decided that I had more than enough time to catch that cab, and went up to see the house keeping folks, and gladly left them with a sizeable tip of local currency. I no longer take hotel house keeping staff for granted! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  4. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    I tipped once, and that was the only time tipped a FD agent.

    I was staying at the Modern Honolulu last year, (no affiliation with any loyalty program). I had a city view room booked but kindly asked if there were any ocean view rooms available (was totally willing to pay the difference). FD agent upgraded me complimentary for my 6 night, 7 day stay there. I tipped him $20. This was my first time staying at the Modern.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is no rationale whatsoever to tip a desk agent whose job it is to check customers into their rooms; and, as once happened to me at Hilton Singapore, checking you in could be one of the property's managers, who not only are supposed to decline/refuse tips, but also generally do not need tips to make ends meet...
     
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  6. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Keep in mind that a tip is given to compliment service. If the FD agent did something nice for you, why not tip? IMO, a tip is not based on the recipient's need for it, but a combination of their demonstration to go over and above or out of their way to accommodate a special request, and your desire to make sure they know you noticed and appreciated the effort.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Good sentiment but when many guests come in hoping to have a special request accommodated, accepting tip from one guest whose special accommodation was granted could be legitimately seen as quid pro quo, which could open Pandora's box for a practice that is anathema in the loyalty business due to the usually high level of expectation. Folks in a position to grant special accommodations should generally not take a tip in order to stay impartial or maintain the perception of impartiality.

    Sent from my DROID4 GLOBAL using milepoint
     
  8. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    No offense, but I'm not concerned about setting standard or precedent or how it appears to anyone outside of the parties involved. Alls I'm a sayin' is that a tip is something between the person who gives it and the person who receives it. I am not implying that it should be used to facilitate special treatment, although I've seen that done.
     
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  9. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    My input is based on experiences when traveling for both business and pleasure.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It depends on the type of job. Tipping a waiter or a cab driver has very little implication beyond the act. To tip someone who is in position to accommodate special favors is clearly not the same thing. So, you are happy with the desk agent for going out of her way to get you that room upgrade, what happens the next you show up? The agent would definitely still remember the tip and so would you. Therefore, that type of tip raises expectation, especially when expectations are already running high...

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  11. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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  12. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I don't disagree, but, when an upgrade is not against policy (based on status), what's wrong with showing appreciation? For example, and this obviously applies to business travel, so OP, please excuse me, when I frequent the same hotel, week after week, for months at a time, I see no harm in showing appreciation for an effort to make me happier. I may be getting that upgrade anyway, but perhaps I was given a room with a balcony or facing a quiet area.
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would tip for a completely unrelated reason. At Park Hyatt Siem Reap where I was treated very well in January , my excuse for leaving money to desk agents was that I'd appreciated the service and wanted to leave something for the "staff" that had taken care of me, especially those who put up with my sleeping late everyday before they could get access to service my suite, but were nowhere to be seen at 6 am when I checked out. It was quite a hefty tip for the region and I did not care how they shared it. The key is that I was not giving it to anyone in particular, but I did show my appreciation without any one person feeling like they "owed" me...

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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint :)
     
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  15. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I haven't tipped a FD yet but will send note to manager or shout out on SM to recognize if over and a nice. do read the hilarious "Heads in Beds" book and you will never carry your bag in NYC again and you will tip the bellman. Great behind the scenes book for travelers
     
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  16. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    I've never tipped a front desk agent either.
     
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  17. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Tipped a Front Desk agent? Why? In hopes of getting an upgrade or better room?

    I would never "tip" a front desk agent, just like I would never tip a gate agent working a flight at the gate. To me it would come off looking like I'm trying to bribe my way into an upgrade--- be it hotel or airline.

    With that being said, I have filled out a comment card and provided praise about a front desk employee when they decided on their own volition to upgrade me to a nice room.

    However, I do frequently tip housekeeping at hotels.
     
  18. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    This string is an interesting read! And I'd suggest to NYCUA1K that your tip was probably not spread among the hotel staff, but obviously that can't be proven. Perhaps the one sure way to provide a gratuity to hotel staff is to tip them each directly.

    Another consideration for discussion in this string - perhaps unstated - relates to both the worldwide location of the hotel, along with who is doing the tipping, besides the reason for doing it. The amount of a tip - either for services rendered or hoped for - differs according to the location.

    I'll go out on a limb and suggest that tipping in the US is expected to be pretty hefty, compared with elsewhere in the world. When we go out to eat at home (US), it's pretty much expected that we tip at 15-20%, with a 20% or greater tip expected at some restaurants. It would be simply goofy for me to tip in much of the rest of the world at this level.

    That said, I work with some parsimonious individuals who normally don't tip very much, who would gladly leave a tip at a hotel front desk in exchange for a room upgrade. ;)

    Newscience
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No doubt that the tip did not get spread around. I usually just leave the tip in the room in local currency that I won't get to use after leaving, but on this occasion, I only had USDs -- which is used almost exclusively in Cambodia despite having their own currency -- in large bills, I was running a bit late, and it was very early so I had no idea who was going to go into the room, so I just decided to make it known that I wanted to recognize the "staff's" consideration during my stay...
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The concept of tipping is more prevalent in North America than in the rest of the world. In most restaurants in China, e.g., you need to sneak the tip under the table if you want to tip because it can be a firing offense to accept tip. If you leave the tip on the table, they'll run after to let you know that you "forgot" your change.The more metropolitan areas are not as strict, and at Hilton Beijing Wangfujing, every time I tipped, the person taking the money requested that I say something nice about them in writing! Just a fig leaf by the management to justify the staff accepting tip.;)
     
  21. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Yes, same here - tipping is a great way to not bring local currency on the airplane with you. And I've yet to visit a country where US dollars were not accepted in a tip! ;)

    And many of us have stories about leaving a country with local currency that couldn't be easily exchanged once you're outside of that country. A few years ago, I left Cote d'Ivoire with ~$100 USD worth of CFA francs. I had thought that there wouldn't be a problem exchanging my CFAs for Euros at CDG. No deal, and I was stuck with the CFAs as I returned to the US. About a year or so later, I was able to "gift" an Ivoirean colleague with the CFAs when he visited the US.
     
  22. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    A great story! BLUF, the amount of an "expected" tip worldwide does not equal the amount of (extra) service received! :confused:
     
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  23. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    So as per the Wiki definition (of gratuity):
    A gratuity (also called a tip) is a sum of money customarily tendered to certain service sector workers for a service performed or anticipated. Tipping and the amount are a matter of social custom and social practices vary between countries and settings. In some locations tipping is discouraged and considered insulting and in some locations tipping is expected from customers. The customary tip can be a specific range of monetary amounts or a given percentage of the bill. In some circumstances, such as with U.S. government workers, receiving of tips is illegal. A service charge is sometimes added to bills in restaurants and similar establishments. Tipping may not be expected when a fee is explicitly charged for the service.

    or dictionary.com:
    a small present of money given directly to someone for performing a service or menial task; gratuity

    a tip doesn't generally sound like it's directed toward receiving something 'extra'.
     
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  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Himmmm... T.I.P stands for Thanks In Payment, but I fail to see how a definition addresses the point in my posts. This is out there with those who agree with the SCOTUS that unlimited money in politics is about "freedom of speech", which is unlikely to influence how a politician who receives such money would decide on an issue of interest to the donor -- that is simply naive.
     
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  25. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    It wasn't meant to. ;) I was just trying to use the comparison of performed and anticipated, past vs. future, as well as another definition, just for giggles.
     
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