The way flight attendants earn extra cash is about to change. Starting January 1, 2019 flight attendants at budget carrier Frontier Airlines can be individually tipped via the electronic payment tablet presented to passengers when buying food or drinks.
Many employees are worried that the cashless transactions have put a stop to the days of old when desperate cheapskates would slip a few rolled-up bills to the cabin crew for extra services such as the popular over-the-pants-handy in the aft galley. No one is happy with this ending.
While tipping flight attendants is not new at this low-priced airline, it has always been cash that was pooled and evenly distributed but not tracked electronically which has promoted the current imbroglio. The extra money helped make ends meet for the relatively low paid cabin crews.
Passengers are encouraged on the payment device to tip 10%-20% on a $6.00 can of beer, for instance. Forcing passengers to tip through the airline’s payment system discourages the personal touch that has become the hallmark of Frontier flight attendants while any extra income is lower and taxable leaving them worse off financially and passengers unsatisfied.