I'm writing this column while on an airplane. It left on time, and the crew was great. It was a clean plane. No complaints (honestly!), and as the flight attendant brought me my sport coat as the plane began its descent I thought, it's like having a valet, waiter and hostess all in one.

Why don't flight attendants get tipped?

Why not tip flight attendants? Because travelers used to have class, and viewed flight attendants as professionals, with respect. You don't tip your bank teller or dental hygienist, so why would you tip a flight attendant?

I sat next to an "experienced" flight attendant a couple years ago, and she commented that I was dressed nicely for a Sunday flight (khakis and a dress shirt). I explained when I was a kid, my parents always made us dress up when we flew the one time a year (if my parents could afford it).

She said that was so nice, and when she started out in the 1970's, that's how most people were. It was all business people and families who respected the crew. People didn't yell and complain. They accepted that no one was perfect; however, times have changed. The cost of flying has gone down, and people have no respect for the crew or fellow passengers, but it's the flight attendants who get screwed. Their customers have changed, but the perception they shouldn't be tipped hasn't. Tip everyone else but the person who takes care of you for two, three, four hours. Tip a taxi driver but not a pilot?

The norms of the world have changed. I'm sure one day, when AI takes over and few jobs are left (I'm kidding), we will tip doctors and maybe even lawyers (uh....that won't happen!)

But seriously, look at the people who are doing the work. They don't do it for tips. They take pride in their work for the job, and for the work itself. That's how people should be. Software engineer, salesperson, Human Resources or accountant. Get a job you want. Work like you love it. Don't worry about the money, whether it be tips, salary or bonus. If you're really good, the cream rises to the top.

Published on: Jan 24, 2018
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