On an upcoming trip to the USA, I've booked a ~$300 shuttle to take us from the airport to a city two hours away. I've prepaid it, if that has any bearing.

A few days later I'm using the same shuttle service for a second leg, roughly the same price and distance. Booked but not paid yet.

As always when travelling to the US, I'm uncertain when and how much to tip. Would I be expected to tip around 20% per leg = $60 each time? Upon arrival?

  • 3
    Normally 15% but what kind of shuttle runs you $300?
    – Karlson
    Mar 2, 2013 at 22:26
  • Thank you. A 2 hour shuttle LAX -> Palm Springs. Booked a while back but googled a bit now and it doesn't seem exceptional for that route.
    – Henrik N
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:59
  • You booked a flight??? palmspringsshuttle.com
    – Karlson
    Mar 4, 2013 at 19:04
  • 1
    We landed in Vancouver, waited 1 hour for the shuttle, driver said he had a bad back so we loaded our own bags. He left us sitting in the shuttle car for 3/4 of an hour before taking us to our hotel. We had to unload our own bags and he had the hide to say "you got tip for me?". Our Aussie 'tip' was 2 words!
    – user26344
    Jan 26, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    @BarbaraLoades "Thank you"? Or did I just get the last word right? May 4, 2015 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


It all depends on the company. In the US it is customary to tip taxi drivers, however some shuttle companies have no tip policies. The difference between the two are that taxi drivers lease their cab from the company they drive for and rely on tips. Shuttle drivers usually get paid by the hour and tips are an added bonus.

If this is a private shuttle 20% is more than enough.

20% = Great 15% = Average 10% = You're a jerk

  • You can adjust those 3 tiers down by 5 or even 10 percent across the board if its a shared shuttle carrying other passengers. Mar 2, 2013 at 20:39
  • 3
    10% = You're a jerk - No. 10% = You're cheap 0 = You're a jerk
    – Karlson
    Mar 3, 2013 at 0:55
  • 2
    I agree 10% = you're a jerk, 15% you're cheap or the service was average.
    – Carl
    Jan 26, 2015 at 18:00
  • 0% is also acceptable if the service was bad.
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 1, 2019 at 16:15

I drive people 100 miles from ski resorts to the airport. Tips are a large part of our compensation(we make little more than minimum wage). When I started driving I expected 10 to 20% or more. It is not uncommon to get Zero, $2 or $3 for driving people 100 miles in bad weather. This is an insult, we have to smile and take it. We load, drive them safely, unload and get little from many people. I think people confuse the tip expected by a shuttle driver that only drives A FEW MILES from a airport hotel to the airport and our shuttle service that drives over mountains and in city traffic 100 plus miles.

  • 2
    This reads more like a rant than an answer
    – blackbird
    Feb 10, 2016 at 16:26
  • 1
    I found it very helpful to hear the perspective of a driver.
    – Henrik N
    Mar 6, 2018 at 11:57
  • 3
    For a European , this entire culture is very confusing: I paid the company for my ride. I am not tipping the dispatcher, the cleaning crew etc.. so why does the driver expect a tip this strongly?
    – user4188
    Mar 1, 2019 at 19:48

For me it depends on the driver. I've seen very dedicated drivers who'd help me to load and unload my luggage and that's something that I consider worth tipping - prepaid or not. An entertaining trip, exchanging a few jokes might also do the trick.

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