Tipping hotel driver for airport pickup

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#1 Jul 19th, 2005, 08:19
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  • daveashcroftuk is offline
#1
Hi guys (and gals),

My hotel in Delhi has organised to pick me up at the airport, and being my first time in india - i want to know whether you think it appropriate to tip the driver, and if so - how much would be considered fair?

Cheers in advance

Dave
#2 Jul 19th, 2005, 09:14
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  • iyou is offline
#2
Tips are always appreciated. He's probably being paid Rs 100-120 per day, assuming he's not driving his own vehicle. Give him Rs 10, or else spoil him with 20. You'll make his day, and you'll only be out less than the price of payphone call at home. This last point is important: Remember that you're vastly wealthy compared to the people serving you in India. Don't sweat it if you occasionally pay over the local rate.
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#3 Jul 19th, 2005, 10:05
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#3
Being met and transported to your hotel from the airport on your first visit to India is a signifcant event (you won't be doing it for the first time again). Unless you have been instructed to the contrary, you could do worse than to presume that you are meant to pay directly to the hotel front desk staff. That being the case you would be unlikely to see any money changing hands between the hotel man and the driver (so don't wait or watch for that, or make any comment).

I would say do tip the driver, most especially if he has provided a stress free ride. To avoid misunderstanding, pay the tip after settling the fare with the hotel front desk staff.

The hotel man and the driver will both know this is a special, once only event for you, and will not read you as weak if you over-tip, by local standards, for this ride. By all means hand the driver a 100 R/ note once it has been clearly established that the fair is paid in full. It could be the smartest 1.75 Euro you ever spend. Do expect the driver to show little or no reaction to the gesture. If he scowls just a little bit, looks slightly put out, and leaves promptly, then you can be sure that you've made his day.

If you want to tip tough and local style right from the get go, there's no harm and no foul in that; just be sure to carry it off with deft confidence. If you are the least bit unsure, lean towards over tipping. That way, even if you get it wrong, everyone, including you, will still be happy.
#4 Jul 19th, 2005, 10:12
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  • daveashcroftuk is offline
#4
Thanks for the replies!

The pick-up is provided free of charge by the hotel, so there will be no money changing hands ....other than a tip. Thats what got me thinking about whether it would be appropriate or not.
#5 Jul 19th, 2005, 11:38
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#5
I usually don't tip unless the driver goes out of his way to be courteous, offers to handle luggage etc. Tipping in India is a lot less common than say the US.
#6 Jul 19th, 2005, 13:40
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  • lyndy is offline
#6

30 r's for two people with one bag each

For our first trip by hotel taxi with two bags, in Dec 2004, we tipped 30 r's. Around $1Aus. The driver was courteous & drove very well and he eased our way in to Delhi after a late arrival and a hectic start to our trip.

Some of the drivers you'll meet will deserve a tip and some won't. You'll soon get the hang of it! Have a great trip.
#7 Jul 20th, 2005, 00:52
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#7
I agree with Trvl_in that a fair tip for a satisfactory airport pick-up might be in order, however please be aware that 100 Rs. is just a lot of money, even if it's nothing to you. It's not about being skimpy but about being aware of local prices. Not ever giving anything to no one won't do anyone much good, but neither will your throwing around cash like it's toy money. This can even work to the point of rudeness, and it won't reflect favorably on those tourists to come after you either. No wonder some of us complain we're treated as walking cash dispensers.

Just try and be realistic about it and round up bills or give a percentage like you would at home for satisfactory service (in fact traditionally tipping or baksheesh as it's called in India works more to get something done, less so to reward a job already done, although tipping might be expected of you as a tourist, which in no way means you have to comply all the time. In a regular eatery for instance just leaving behind a few coins will be appreciated enough, and no one will blame you for not leaving anything at all.) Since I've no idea what your ride might cost I can't advise you but at 10% which for India would be a handsome tip I bet it won't be 1,000 Rs, for which you could pretty much travel up and down the country by 2nd-class train. The tenner or three mentioned above sound more realistic.
#8 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:07
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#8
I would recommend a tip of Rs 100. Delhi is an expensive city to live in.
#9 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:09
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#9
The whole point is that the ride is not costing me anything.....

....so there is no percentage i can work to. I guess a similar taxi ride would cost about 100-200Rps, so i will probably go with 15-20rps if the driver is friendly and helpful. This would account to roughly 10-15% of what i would have to pay if it were not for this being a complimentary service by the hotel. I am acutely aware that tipping too much can be negative for future tourists!
#10 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:19
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  • deeps is offline
#10
I would tip the driver...

I would say about 60- 100 Rupees....which is what about £1.00

If you were in London for example most Hotels will not even bother aranging a taxi for you ....if you were to get a black cab from the main airport to the centre of town...it would cost u like £50 or more!!
#11 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:20
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveashcroftuk I guess a similar taxi ride would cost about 100-200Rps, so i will probably go with 15-20rps if the driver is friendly and helpful.
Which hotel are you staying in? Delhi is a huge city and from the airport to some places can easily be around Rs500 and more.
#12 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:27
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveashcroftuk there is no percentage i can work to. I guess a similar taxi ride would cost about 100-200Rps
Yes, it's what I meant. Not your costs (if it's a free service) but the actual costs (if it hadn't been). Sounds like a fair deal and as noted there's absolutely no harm in overdoing it a little either. Make someone's day, why not. I am not aware of anywhere in the world where people tip according to the perceived local costs of living or the exchange rate in some other country you happen to call home though. Imagine a hotel clerk's amusement at seeing the driver striking up his day's earnings in one go once again.
#13 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:28
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#13
Im staying in Hotel Ajanta (5 mins walk to the northeast of paharganj). Its costing around $10 a night, so i guess the car journey has been factored into the cost.

I understand that noone is going to be offended with getting too much of a tip, but (as someone who lives in a touristy city) - i know how pissed off people get watching tourists from certain parts of the world throwing money around with gay abandon. I want to be fair, even generous - but not rubbing anyones face in my percieved (if only i was!!) wealth.
#14 Jul 20th, 2005, 02:53
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  • crvlvr is offline
#14
I think Lonely Planet's Guide provides an insightful general guidelines to tipping, IMHO

Quote:
Tipping is virtually unknown in India, except in swanky establishments in the major cities. Baksheesh, on the other hand, a term which encompasses tipping and a lot more besides, is widespread. You 'tip' in India not so much for good service but in order to get things done. Judicious baksheesh will open closed doors, find missing letters and perform other small miracles. In tourist restaurants or hotels a 10% service charge is often added to bills. In smaller places, where tipping is optional, you need only tip a few rupees, not a percentage of your bill.
#15 Jul 20th, 2005, 04:26
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  • shere is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by deeps I would tip the driver...

I would say about 60- 100 Rupees....which is what about £1.00

If you were in London for example most Hotels will not even bother aranging a taxi for you ....if you were to get a black cab from the main airport to the centre of town...it would cost u like £50 or more!!
Thats in London

Dont pay more that 10-20RS. Pay too much and drivers start to expect such tips from everyone and this is bad for the locals who cannot afford such tips. Remember the driver is on a wage.
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