Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
If you drew a graph with airline customer service on one axis and airline nickel-and-diming on the other, you'd find an interesting line.
Yet here's an incident on a recent flight that might surprise some.
A Frontier Airlines passenger asked for a ginger ale.
As the Points Guy's JT Genter reported -- for he was the passenger -- the Flight Attendant handed him a tablet. On it, were the enthusiastic words:
Gratuities Are Appreciated!
I'm sure they are!
Somehow, though, tipping hasn't really been part of the airline experience. Except, perhaps, when you're checking your bag curbside.
It's a difficult maneuver when Square and its ilk present you with a screen that asks you to tip the person providing you with a service.
You know they can see whether you do or don't. Worse, if you don't, they're still going to see you for some time.
Unlike in a restaurant, where you can sign the check, enclose it in a nice American Express-branded plastic wallet and disappear before the server realizes you thought their customer service was akin to, oh, that of most airlines.
On Frontier, it appears that any additional monies offered by passengers are tipped straight into Flight Attendant's pockets.
The money used to be pooled. Now, however, it's going to be given to the individual Flight Attendant performing the service.
While the intention might have some sort of logic -- paying Flight Attendants less, perhaps -- I fear some Flight Attendants might drift toward the unctuous, in order to put pressure on passengers.
You've surely seen these types at resorts, for example. The ones who put little messages on checks right next to the line that says tip. The ones that give you a check and state, just ever so neutrally, that tip is not included.
And truly, imagine you haven't tipped for a sad drink in a plastic bottle and you need the Flight Attendant to help you with something later on.
How might they react?
Perhaps Frontier passengers have become used to this little wheeze.
I confess I might struggle if I've already paid for a bag, a specific seat -- that's not a special seat -- and a glass of the one, very ordinary Cabernet Sauvignon on offer, to then tip the Flight Attendant.
Then again, if the Flight Attendant manages to silence a violent snorer, prevent the passenger next to me from encroaching into my space or, ideally, reseats the passenger next to me to another location so that I can sit next to an empty seat, now that might be worth a tip.