do I tip drivers that pick me up from the airport?

Hi, I know about tipping most other things but wondering if we tip the driver that picks us up from the airport and brings us to the resort? And visa versa on the return trip?


  • I have not on any past Tauck trips, but then I tend to be cheap!
  • Nope, you don't need to tip the driver. You can double check on this in the Before You Go section where it talks about what is/isn't included or in your green travel documents.
  • If the transportation is arranged by Tauck there is no need for you to tip the drivers. Tauck takes care of it and tips many other good folks along the way.
  • edited October 2017
    This question comes up on a regular basis. A quick answer, without checking with Tauck, is no. Based on what has been posted over the years by travelers with many more trips under their belts, some of whom have contacted and received an answer from Tauck, we have never tipped the airport drivers. Also, you may be sharing the transfer with one or more couples in a sedan or van. If not provided by Tauck, they would suggest you use local currency.

    In any case, I decided to see what the website actually says. Unfortunately, it still doesn't provide a definitive answer:

    'Before You Go' under 'Tour Prices' it says,

    ". . . . the services of local guides and drivers are included. Transportation from Phoenix International Airport to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, regardless of the time you check in to the hotel, is included.

    Note, tipping is not discussed.

    under 'Gratuities Included' it says,

    All customary gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and local guides are included.

    Note, airport transport driver is not mentioned, but probably should be.

    Under 'Tauck Director Gratuities' it says,

    "The customary gratuities for the Tauck Director and local drivers are not included. We ask that gratuities be extended on a voluntary, individual basis and not as a group."

    Note: I think "local divers" is a poor choice of terms, because this quote conflicts with the first quote and you will sometimes have "local drivers" (different from your main driver) for short, one-time excursions, e.g. transport from the hotel to the Mercedes museum on the Romantic Germany tour, or the drive along the Amalfi Coast, who are compensated by Tauck. I believe the term "local drivers" as used in this quote only applies to the main bus driver(s) who is with you for the majority of the tour. Suggested amounts for the TD and (bus) driver(s) are listed in the spiral "green book" you get when you receive your final documents once you are paid in full. Also, note: Gratuities are included in the tour price for the Africa Safari driver/guides, although this is one case where many do reward one or more of the guides who were really exceptional or went above and beyond to assist a traveler.

    Under 'Personal Expenses' it says,

    " . . . phone calls, room service, alcoholic and other beverages not specifically included, laundry, dry cleaning, airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees and services, airport arrival and departure taxes, individual train and airport transfers (when applicable), and other optional or incidental extras are not included and may be significant."

    So, bottom line, the Tauck website still does not specifically mention, a gratuity for the airport transfer drivers, one way or the other.

    I'll finish with two old Travel Forum posts on the topic:

    This from 2011:

    "The only question I can answer for sure (I think) is about the tip for the driver that Tauck has arranged. I called Tauck and was told that the gratuity for the drivers that Tauck uses to pick up their guests is paid for by Tauck regardless of when you arrive. They told me the same thing when I went to Canada in 2009 and when I went on the London-Paris tour this past April. Each time I arrived one or two days early. I even double-checked with the driver in London and he said I didn't need to worry about it...that it was included. "

    This from 2016:

    I did have my husband tip the driver this past year in Italy...we were the only ones he was driving, he managed our bags and gave a little mini tour on the way to the hotel. I'm sure it was not more than 5 or 10 Euro...and while I don't have $$ to burn he could have been a surly, silent guy who let us struggle with the bags. Instead, we were able to relax and learn a little more about Rome (and arrive safely). Although I knew he'd already been tipped it didn't hurt me to show my appreciation with a token gratuity.
  • edited October 2017
    This whole thing about tips just shows how ridiculous this custom is. While as Americans we personally tip 20 percent in restaurants in our part of the US, and other customary tips for services, the British side of us never forgets how bizarre the custom is of tipping people for doing the job they are supposed to be doing. Tauck DOES tip the drivers who bring us and take us back to the airport! Don't forget, in many countries people are paid a living wage, unlike the US. It is also a reason why people in other countries think of Americans as very wealthy never mind that we often work much longer hours and get meager vacation allowance. That's why we are often seen as easy prey for stealing and scams. I find it bizarre that people waste time and get such anxiety on how much to give for a Tip! Enjoy your vacation without worrying about tips, that's how Arthur Tauck meant it all to be.
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