It's customary to tip an airport skycap per bag after he gives you a hand with your luggage at the airport. As with any type of tip, several factors can influence exactly how much you opt to give the skycap or whether you choose to give a tip at all. Tipping a skycap is often a small price to pay for the helping hand he provides you at the airport.
Give $1 to $2
CNN Money recommends tipping your skycap $1 per bag, for helping you with a curbside check-in, while The Emily Post Institute advises tipping $2 for the first bag and $1 for each bag thereafter. Add an extra dollar, per bag, to your total tip amount if the skycap helps you transport your luggage from the curb all the way to the airport's check-in counter.
Consider His Approach
The number of bags that make up your luggage isn't the only factor to consider as you quickly calculate how much you wish to tip the skycap. Excessively heavy luggage warrants an extra tip. Additionally, note the degree of the sky cap's professionalism and overall demeanor. If he makes casual conversation or gives directions to help you navigate the airport, give him an extra dollar or two. Conversely, tip accordingly -- or don't tip at all -- if the skycap is rude.
When the Airline Charges
Many airlines charge a fee for travelers to check-in at the curb. When you pay this fee, keep in mind that it's going to the airline and paying the fee isn't an excuse to avoid tipping the skycap who assists you. Tip your skycap $1 to $2 per bag, while also evaluating whether he deserves an extra dollar or two for his professionalism or attention to detail.
Tip Even With a Large Bill
It's generally helpful to carry a small wad of $1 bills in your pocket for travel-related tipping. If you don't have anything small, however, don't view this obstacle as a reason to skip the tip for your skycap. Travel + Leisure magazine reports that it isn't an etiquette faux pas to tip a skycap with a larger-denomination bill and then ask for a certain amount of change, just as you might do with a restaurant bill.
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