How much to tip for wheelchair help?

This item appears on page 31 of the February 2011 issue.
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My wife has long suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, making walking long distances an ordeal. On our last trip, we requested wheelchair assistance at the airports where we were making connections, the first time we have done so. This is new to us and we are wondering what level of tipping is customary.

On this trip, we encountered varying levels of service, sometimes by an employee of an airport-services company contracting its services to the airline and at least once by an airline employee.

Once, it was a simple transfer between two gates that turned out to be rather close to each other. Upon arrival from overseas at O’Hare, though, the service involved meeting us at the arrival gate, accompanying us through a dedicated wheelchair lane at Immigration, claiming our luggage, passing through Customs, checking in with the airline for boarding passes, rechecking our luggage for our ongoing domestic connection, transferring us to another terminal, passing through a dedicated wheelchair lane for the TSA and then wheeling my wife to our departure gate.

In Athens, we had nearly the same service, plus the attendant wheeled my wife the several hundred yards from the terminal to the cruise line’s transfer buses.

Any suggestions regarding appropriate amounts to tip wheelchair attendants will be appreciated. Please e-mail me c/o ITN. (Unless requested otherwise, each reply will be forwarded to ITN for possible publication.)

BOB M.
St. Louis, MO

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife has long suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, making walking long distances an ordeal. On our last trip, we requested wheelchair assistance at the airports where we were making connections, the first time we have done so. This is new to us and we are wondering what level of tipping is customary.

On this trip, we encountered varying levels of service, sometimes by an employee of an airport-services company contracting its services to the airline and at least once by an airline employee.

Once, it was a simple transfer between two gates that turned out to be rather close to each other. Upon arrival from overseas at O’Hare, though, the service involved meeting us at the arrival gate, accompanying us through a dedicated wheelchair lane at Immigration, claiming our luggage, passing through Customs, checking in with the airline for boarding passes, rechecking our luggage for our ongoing domestic connection, transferring us to another terminal, passing through a dedicated wheelchair lane for the TSA and then wheeling my wife to our departure gate.

In Athens, we had nearly the same service, plus the attendant wheeled my wife the several hundred yards from the terminal to the cruise line’s transfer buses.

Any suggestions regarding appropriate amounts to tip wheelchair attendants will be appreciated. Please e-mail me c/o ITN. (Unless requested otherwise, each reply will be forwarded to ITN for possible publication.)

BOB M.
St. Louis, MO