I am home, got out of Detroit just in time. Drove to Flint, got a flight back to Detroit, and flew nonstop to SFO. If I had gotten the same flight in Detroit it cost $750. By getting it in Flint it cost $350. Is that weird?

Do you tip the hotel maid? How much?

Do you tip the person who delivers your newspaper to your home?

Do you tip the mail carrier?


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  1. JZ

    Hotel Maid- Always. I tip about 5-7 bucks everytime they clean my room. Hence, why I always put up the ‘Do NOT Disturb’ signs up on multiple night stays so that I have to tip ONCE.

    Newspaper Delivery- No

    Mail Carriers- Tip Once generously during the Holiday Season AND express to them my gratefulness for what they do. (just to let them know indirectly this is a one time thing for Holiday season)

    October 29th, 2012 11:15 pm

  2. Doc Rivers

    1. Yes, 3-5 dollars
    2. Yes, $20 at Christmas
    3. No, they are already overpaid
    See you at the parade.

    October 29th, 2012 11:22 pm

  3. mendozaline

    Saw this on 415 Media:

    “Congratulations to Susan Slusser , A’s beat writer, for the Chronicle , for being named as president of the Baseball Writers Association of America , (BBWAA). She’s the first woman to head the 700-member club and it’s well-deserved.”

    October 29th, 2012 11:41 pm

  4. Ryder

    I don’t stay in hotels all that often, but I do tip the cleaning service when I do. I’m never sure how much I should though. Usually 5 or 10 bucks, depending. Is that proper? I don’t tip the mail carrier.

    October 30th, 2012 5:45 am

  5. Blind Tom

    When I returned to college in 1984 (Sonoma State), I paid my way through school as a bartender at Lucas Wharf in Bodega Bay. Well that and selling weed cause I was from Mendocino and old habits die hard. Bottom line is I am what some would call a heavy tipper. No one gets rich in those jobs and even though I’ve never been anywhere near well off, giving to those in the service “industry” seems only right.
    Funny, but I was great behind the bar, a real natural. Never poured before and never did again. I’ll tell you what though, I learned so much about people while wearing that blue apron.
    I’m willing to bet Lowell that you mentally compute the tip down to the penny. I will also bet that the times you have left more than 20 percent could be counted on one hand. Hmmmm? ;- )

    October 30th, 2012 6:09 am

  6. RYD

    I tip the maid $5.00 a day. I leave it in the bed in an envelope with a Thank You on it.

    The maid does far more to make my stay enjoyable than the gentleman who “takes” my one pull bag to the registration area. Totally uncalled for and unneeded.

    Newspaper person we give a gift (cash) at Christmas. Nothing For the mail carrier

    October 30th, 2012 6:42 am

  7. John Sousa

    I delivered papers as a kid, and some people tipped me at Christmas. I also worked once as a UPS Driver’s helper at Christmas, and the regular guys got tips from some of their regular customers. Good ones, too, especially from the big corporate firms in the Financial District. I got a gift bag from the mail room guys at Sephora, which I was able to regift to my wife. It was pretty awesome. A lot of people also tip their hotel maids, especially if they’re there a long time. My brother who travels frequently does this. I don’t stay in hotels very often, so I don’t remember if I’ve tipped, but I will next time.

    October 30th, 2012 6:44 am

  8. mbabco

    We don’t tip the mail carrier but he’s a great guy. My wife teaches Thai cooking so he gets a lot of leftovers.

    October 30th, 2012 7:32 am

  9. NeverWrong

    Would you write a full column about Cal football, please. No one else is, not interestingly. Glenn Dickey evidently has over-committed to defending JT Crumpacker is perfunctory. Kawakami’s beat doesn’t include it. It seems yours doesn’t either, but you must have opinions anyway. There must be more to the story than bad preparation and bad depth chart choices I probably am just one of many of your readers still hoping you’ll weigh in. Cal needs it, in fact. They are virtually ignored. Even a harsh evaluation would provide some needed energy.

    October 30th, 2012 8:29 am

  10. Dennis

    We always tip the maid – everyday. We leave it in a place that only she can find or we give it directly to her if we see her. We used to leave it on the counter out in the open but we were told by a friend who worked in the industry that supervisors come through before the maid and take it if they find it. My wife insisted on this saying that the maid deserved the tip more than anyone else in the hotel we tip. She feels that we can carry our own bags, open our own doors and hail our own cab, but we can’t clean our own room.

    We do tip the mailman, and we don’t get our newspapers delivered.

    October 30th, 2012 8:48 am

  11. Dennis

    I forgot – $5 to $10 per day depending on the cost of the room and how generous my wife is feeling

    October 30th, 2012 8:50 am

  12. CohnZohn

    BlindTom/streetgilde, you’re wrong about me as a tipper. I do not compute to the penny and I am a generous tipper. Most sportswriters are.

    October 30th, 2012 9:07 am

  13. Michael

    Lowell how much did the rental car company get you on the return charges ? Usually they nail me on it when I return the car to a different place which often offsets any savings in airfare.

    Tip the maid yes 5 a day

    They still make newspapers?!

    No way on the mailman.

    October 30th, 2012 9:22 am

  14. gary

    Hotel maid service—$5/day on pillow
    Newspaper-$25/Xmas time
    Mail person? that aactually never occured to me.

    So what does our sports columnist tip to each?

    October 30th, 2012 11:09 am

  15. Bob In Portland

    One of my first jobs was as a busboy at the Ye Cottage Inn on Raritan Bay in Keyport, NJ (hope it made it through the storm), so I generally tip well, especially food servers.

    I tip maids for cleaning the room. I was a paperboy and I used to tip them, but now newspapers are almost always delivered by adults running businesses.

    I’m mixed on tipping mailmen. I carried mail for a quarter century in SF. In the 1980s a Postmaster General issued a ban on Christmas gifts so I dutifully turned down envelopes and it actually ticked off customers that I wouldn’t accept their gifts. There was a supervisor who would wait at the loading docks and confiscate bottles of wine and booze that carriers received for Christmas. I think it really depends on what kind of relationship you have with your carrier.

    I used to leave a six-pack of beer or a bottle of booze for the garbage men but I think the guy across the street would steal it on his late night creep.

    October 30th, 2012 11:09 am

  16. Stan

    Well,who pays for the flight? you or the PD? Do beat writers pay for flights or do they fly with the team? Are columnists different?
    Tips if I get a free or discount. No tips if it already is out of pocket and my own bills in life to pay too.

    October 30th, 2012 12:13 pm

  17. B-Rad

    Maid – $2 per night. Bellman, $2-$3 per bag. Valet parking, $5 on arrival
    and departure (they coordinate with bellman getting the bags to and
    from room), $2 – $3 to get me, or take, the car during our stay.

    Don’t have home paper delivery, but if we did, I would.

    Letter carrier. We have a great and accurate mail lady. Absolutely $10.
    (If we had a Cliff Claven type, he could totally wreak havoc on my life).

    October 30th, 2012 12:19 pm

  18. CohnZohn

    The PD pays my travel expenses.

    October 30th, 2012 12:31 pm

  19. lameduck

    Does anyone tip the sportswriter? Are you trying to start a new tradition?

    October 30th, 2012 2:37 pm

  20. Streetglide...

    I know you are a heavy tipper Llowell, blind tom is an old curmudgeon. Here’s a tip: the Jets coach is out on his ear, maybe before the end of the season…

    October 31st, 2012 5:52 am

  21. Brian in Oakland

    Lowell, the ticketing pricing phenomenon you mention above is called “the hub penalty”. Basically if you fly non-stop involving at least one hub, there is often less competition on the route so the serving airline will often charge more (as in SFO to DTW). But if you connect to somewhere like Flint, often there are many more more ways to get there — by connecting through Chicago or elsewhere — and the airline is open to more competition on the route and charges less. Simple supply in demand economics, even though it seems quite silly. So silly in fact that there is a whole subculture, yours truly included at times, that will book a one-way that connects to Flint (for example) but gets off in Detroit to take advantage of the cheaper fair. The airlines hate this, but they don’t have much of a leg to stand on legally. One tip though if you do this: make sure to book two one ways instead of a round trip. Often an airline will cancel the rest of a ticket if you skip out on one of the legs. Two round trips protect you.

    October 31st, 2012 8:49 am

  22. Brian in Oakland

    Tipping culture in New York is much more involved than our here in California. I lived in a doorman building for several years and you were expected to tip every single person who worked there at X-mas. My building had 6 full time workers. $50, what I gave each, was considered cheap. Christ, it was like saving up for an extra rent payment every year.

    October 31st, 2012 8:53 am

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