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Tipping your flight attendants? Frontier has allowed it for years

Frontier’s flight attendants are now allowed to keep any tips they receive for themselves.
Credit: DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images
A Frontier Airlines jet at Philadelphia International Airport on June 1, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On Frontier Airlines, tipping isn’t new. It started more than three years ago when the airline introduced tablets that flight attendants could use to place inflight orders and swipe credit cards.

But as of January 1, Frontier’s flight attendants are now allowed to keep any tips they receive for themselves. Previously, the tips were pooled and shared with the crew.

“We appreciate the great work of our Flight Attendants and know that our customers do as well, so it gives passengers the option to tip,” said Jonathan Freed, Frontier’s director of corporate communications, in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

If you haven’t seen an option to tip on Frontier’s tablets, that’s because flight attendants can choose whether to include the tip screen before handing the tablet to the customer.

Freed said it’s also completely up to the customer as to whether they want to tip or not.

Many other airlines don’t allow tipping during flights. Frontier’s low-cost competitors, Spirit Airlines and Allegiant, do not include tipping in their inflight payment systems, Bloomberg reported.

United Airlines told MarketWatch that accepting tips is against its code of ethics. Flight attendants on American Airlines are discouraged to accept tips, a spokesperson told MarketWatch. And Southwest said it discourages tipping but allows flight attendants to accept if a customer insists.  

A former Southwest flight attendant said in an interview with USA Today in 2017 that she once received a $600 tip that was hidden in a peanut bag.

"The largest tip I ever received was left for me in an empty peanut bag," said Lauren Cashman. "The passenger came to the back galley and said he had won big in Vegas and wanted to share. The peanut bag contained $600. I split it with my crew, and we had a great dinner that night in Reno."