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I'm booked-in for a stay at a major casino-hotel in Vegas where the extortionate room fee includes a complimentary limo pick-up from the airport to the hotel - complete with driver holding a sign-up with my name written on it.

As the ride is complimentary, I have no idea what value to calculate the typical 20% tip on - 20% of $0.00 is zero - but tipping zero would just be bad-form.

How much should I tip, and also, how? What's the best way to subtly tip someone while maintaining both parties' dignity?

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$20 is not a bad rule of thumb, especially if the service is good. Another guideline (for the US), which also works for restaurants where you're given free dishes, complementary spa services, and other situations where you're receiving a free service but tipping the service provider is appropriate, is to tip as if you were paying the normal price. If you don't know the normal price, you can use your best estimate.

So what does a limo ride from LAS to a strip hotel normally cost an average customer? The first few Google results indicate a range of $90-$150 round-trip depending on the size of the car. So that's roughly $45-$75, giving a rough tip range of $10-$15. Since you're not paying for the ride, bringing that up to $20 would be a nice thing to do.

As far as physically giving a tip, you can't really go wrong. A typical thing to do (outside of restaurants, where you don't hand money directly to the waiter) is to fold up the bill a few times, roughly like this, place it sticking out of the palm of your hand, and pass it to the driver while thanking him. No need to say "I'm giving you a tip now" or anything like that. If you were paying him for the service as well, you could just give him more money than the total and say "keep the change," or ask for a specific amount of change back (e.g. "Can I get 5 back please?", which they will understand to mean the rest is a tip).

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    I tipped $40, each ways (so $80 in total), I think it was well-received. Thank you for the advice. – Dai Dec 23 '16 at 15:38
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    Funny how the ride is no longer "complimentary" once you factor in the tip. – JonathanReez Nov 15 '18 at 16:32
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    Yikes. $20 is more than an entire Uber ride from the Airport to the Mirage – Hilmar Nov 16 '18 at 17:49
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As a limo professional, I would say $10 would be the absolute minimum, anything less would be an insult. $20 would be the normal/average tip the driver would be expecting, especially since they are doing a "meet and greet" at the airport.

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The travel blog onemileatatime has an article on that - from the point of view of complimentary airline pick-up / drop-off services which is essentially the same as your case. He comes to the conclusion

So for a “normal” ride to or from the airport in the US in a complimentary chauffeur service arranged by the airline I’ll usually tip ~$20.

which I guess would also be appropriate for you.

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If you have a sponsor that booked your trip and you are riding in a Limo or executive car the minimum tip should be a $20.

Rule of thumb is if they are wearing a suit and tie then think in terms of Bill size and not percentage.

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