You will probably find many tips and advice by so-called travel advisory groups. We’ve all came across universal rules on tips written by travel experts. What I want to share is none of the above – it is my view on tipping and the way I perceive the mechanics of it. Trust me when I say this – I do not mean to offend any doorman or hotel staff – I praise them on their ingenuity. Here are a few tips for tipping my way.
Tipping for your luggage might seem like common sense and courtesy. But beware!
The front of the house personnel have a well thought out system of extraction, lurking and waiting for its next prey. This is especially true of large and luxury hotels. This group is called the EXTRACTION team.
You think I’m exaggerating? Consider this:
When you arrive, you will be very quickly evaluated by the doorman. He will look at what car you arrived in, how you’re dressed and what luggage you carry (believe me, they don’t miss a trick).
He will then most likely announce to you „I will take care of your luggage Sir/Madame”. Which is code for – this is the appropriate time for you to tip me.
He then escorts you to the front desk. There awaits you another doorman or bellman. He will roll in your luggage and announce that he will send it up to your room. Again! Tip the man!
Now you checked in and can finally unwind a little in your room. Knock on the door. It’s a bellman. BUT, it’s not the same guy! What do you do, not to come across as cheap? Do you not tip him? This will perhaps be the Extraction Teams final attempt, but nonetheless, their objective will be achieved.
This process is repeated on your departure, too. But it’s much funnier. The performance is more dramatic and action packed, as you are often in a hurry on your way out. If you prerranged your car service with the hotel, the drivers are actually instructed by the doorman not to obstruct or interfere with the final performance and not to place your luggage in the boot of the car. And if you arranged your own transportation very often the doorman will tell your very capable driver to not touch the luggage.
So be smart pay only once. And how much should you pay? The rule of thumb is between $2-3 per bag. This also depends on how heavy they are and how many you have. If you are generous and the bags arrived in your room fast and you’re staying in the presidential suite $5 per bag is good enough!