A Guide to Tipping
True savoir faire is nowhere more apparent than when one promptly, assuredly leaves an appropriate tip. Hint: Always carry $10 to $20 in small bills.
Tipping in a Restaurant
Experts say that 15% is standard for good service, but 20% is nicer and it's much easier to do the math – just double the first two digits of the check:
Total bill: $7.10 -- tip: $1.42 (7=14; 1=2)
Total bill: $48.23 -- tip: $9.60 (4=8; 8=16, carry the 1)
Total bill: $130.54 -- tip: 26 (1=2; 3=6)
Total bill: $273.42 -- tips: $54 (2=4; 7=14, carry the 1)
Exception to the rule: Never leave less than $1, even if you've only had a cup of coffee and your bill came to $4.
Fifteen to 20 percent of the price of the bottle(s) you've order is standard – that is, if the steward has personally helped you. Otherwise, your server will probably take care of the steward at the end of the night.
Anywhere from $3-10 is acceptable, to be paid when your car is safely delivered to you, not before.
Again, this is paid when you pick up your coat. Tip $2-3 per item (hat, umbrella, etc.).
In a Bar
If you're running a tab, the 20% rule stays steady. If you're paying cash, it's a buck a drink for your bartender or cocktail server
In a Hotel
Porter or Bell-Person
Three dollars per piece of luggage that he or she carries, amounting to no less than $5.
Three to $5 per day. Again, leave no less than $5, and place it in an envelope in the room when you're ready to check out. If you've made a horrible mess, leave more. Lots more.
If he or she has made restaurant reservations, given you excellent directions, and so forth, tip him or her $10. If the concierge has scored you tickets to a sold-out show, or something nearly as heroic, make it $20.
Most hotels include an automatic 15-20% gratuity to the room service bill. If is not necessary, but certainly appreciated, to tip 15% in addition to the room charge.
In a Taxi
When you're buzzing around town, leave 15-20% of the fare, rounded off to the more generous dollar. Again, don't leave less than $1 no matter what. For rides to the airport, leave about 15% plus an extra dollar for each piece of luggage your driver hauls in and out of the trunk.
In a Limo or Car Service
If the "limousine" is actually a minibus you're sharing to the airport, tip the driver for whatever bags he or she has carried for you. If it's an actual limousine that you've hired for a night on the town, a 20% tip is appreciated.
At the Airport – Skycap or Porter
The standard $1 per bag rule applies to skycaps, but full cart luggage requires a $3-5 tip. When traveling with children or the elderly, you can often enlist a porter to help you and yours to the gate, in which case a $10 tip is appreciated. '