Back in 18th-century coffee houses, the words “To Insure Promptitude” were inscribed on the coffee bowls as a hint to patrons. One theory states this term was eventually abbreviated to “tip,” meaning a gratuity for service.

The word and the practice have survived. Sometimes, our private jet rental clients ask us questions about tips and salary for private jet pilots and staff. That includes “Should I tip my aircrew?” and “How much do private jet pilots make?”

In the spirit of honesty and transparency, we’ll take a look at some of your frequently asked questions around tipping and aircrew salaries.

Should I Tip My Private Jet Pilot?

Private plane charter tips are up to you. However, as Joel Thomas, founder of Stratos Jet Charters, Inc., says, “A tip is a gesture showing gratitude for someone who has not merely done their job but done their job in such a way that their passion shines through. Tips are not expected, but always appreciated.”

So, here are some tips on who to tip and how much.

Tipping Your Ground Services Provider

These are the drivers that get you to and from your aircraft in comfort. When arranged by Stratos, your driver’s tip is already included. There’s no need to tip again.

Although, it is nice to give something extra to a driver that gives you additional help with your luggage or finds a faster route to the airport. Some drivers go the extra mile by giving you their contact information to ensure smooth transportation when you’re leaving a meeting.

Depending on the length of the drive, a $20 to $50 tip for an exceptional driver would be appropriate.

Tipping Your Line Crew

The line crew helps load and unload your luggage from the private jet rental aircraft. They ensure your aircraft is fuelled and that your catering order gets onboard. Some line crew members may shuttle you from the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) to your plane.

If you drove your car, they also provide the valet service. The Line Crew is paid hourly and usually works outside in all kinds of weather. It is very classy to tip $20 per line crew member who assists you.

Tipping Your Cabin Attendant

Cabin and Flight Attendants have the dual responsibility of safety and hospitality. On a typical flight, they excel at getting your meals and refreshments while ensuring your complete comfort. If someone in your group has physical or mobility issues, the cabin crew will give them the extra attention they may require.

Cabin crew are not salaried. Instead, they are typically paid a daily flat rate. It is very tasteful to have a $100 bill handy. If you have a larger private jet rental group (more than four) consider a larger tip.

A private jet pilot walks away from a jet in a hangar

Tipping Your Private Aircraft Pilots

There is no expectation to tip a private jet charter pilot, especially if there is a cabin attendant aboard. Pilots are paid a private jet pilot salary, and the larger the aircraft, the more they earn. However, a $50 spot for each pilot, after the first leg of your flight, makes you their fan.

With a tip, they are more likely to ensure you feel comfortable, interact with you, and ensure that all of your passengers receive their utmost attention. A tip can lead to an exceptional, beyond-the-norm level of service that the standard pilot for a private jet salary can’t. This is especially true on smaller aircraft.

On light, mid-size, and super-midsize jets, and especially on turbo-prop private jet rental aircraft, one of the pilots may act as a cabin attendant. Tipping a multi-tasking pilot is a classy move.

Were the service providers you came in contact with on a single leg flight exceptional and deserving of your gratitude? A tip goes a long way to showing your appreciation and making their day.

How much does the pilot of a private jet make?

Depending on how many hours they log and which aircraft they pilot, they can make anywhere from $50,000 a year to $300,000 or more.

Private jet pilot salary vs. Commercial pilot salary: How do they compare?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that the median salary for airline and commercial pilots was $211,790 in May 2022, the most recent point for which data is available.

ZipRecruiter tracks the average private pilot salary by state. The per-state average salaries range from a high of $151,089 in Oregon to a low of $90,597 in Florida.

Helpfully, ZipRecruiter shares the same state-level salary findings for commercial pilots. These range from a high of $102,069 in Massachusetts to a low of $60,962 in Florida.

Who is the highest paid pilot?

Based on ZipRecruiter’s data, both private and commercial pilots are well paid. However, private jet pilot salaries, on average, compare favorably to commercial pilot salaries.

Remember that averages are just that — they don’t paint a complete and comprehensive picture. Some commercial pilots earn more than private pilots. Experience, skills, the types of planes these pilots can fly, their specific employers, and other factors all play a role in determining compensation.

To experience our exceptional service, book your next luxury charter flight by calling Stratos Jet Charters, Inc. at (888) 337-9343. Or, start a quote online to see estimates and start booking your flight!