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Tipping protocols on the Canadian


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#1 flitcraft

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:38 PM

My husband and I are traveling this June on the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver--it's truly a trip of a lifetime, so we're splurging for Prestige accommodations.  What we need to know is what the tipping protocols are in the dining car, the bar, and for the concierge. I know that the crew changes over in Winnipeg, so I am assuming that we tip the concierge on boarding in Toronto, and then the new one in Winnipeg. But how much is 'standard' for that? I was guessing 20 dollars CDN per day for the two of us, but is that right? And what about tips in the dining car?  On Amtrak, the meals are priced in the menu, so I tip on that.  But that cue is absent on Via, unfortunately.

 

I know that tipping is a controversial subject, and I don't want to start a flame war on that. I'm fine with those who don't tip. But I do myself tip on Amtrak, and I'd like to follow the tipping norms for Via, if possible. Any advice?



#2 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:43 PM

When I rode the Canadian a few years ago, the normal tipping procedure was to leave any mix of $1 and $2 coins on the table after each meal. Most of the time, we all piled coins in the middle of the table so you didn't even know who tipped what. (On Amtrak I make SURE the servers see that I left that $5 for dinner. Does wonders for the next meal period!). 

 

I rode in the winter, and most of my table mates were Canadian. So perhaps it's a different ball-game when more tourists ride. 

 

In a Roomette on VIA, you raise and lower your bed on your own. I had planned on giving my attendants tips, my first attendant was quite friendly and we chatted alot about trains (he could tell how excited I was when boarding I think) so I tipped him $10 when he left in WInnipeg.  My next attendant wasn't overly friendly so I didn't tip him since he really didn't do much other than empty my trash. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#3 JRR

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:56 PM

When my wife & I rode the Canadian, we didn’t know the crew changed in Winnipeg which happened in the middle of the night. Thus we missed tipping the excellent SCA and we felt very bad. The rest of the trip we didn’t even see the SCA.

We always left tips in the lounge and in the dining car.

One thing of interest, the lounge attendant carried a tab for us which we took care of with a good tip. I don’t think that is necessarily standard procedure, but was a nice touch.


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#4 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:44 AM

My husband and I are traveling this June on the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver--it's truly a trip of a lifetime, so we're splurging for Prestige accommodations.  What we need to know is what the tipping protocols are in the dining car, the bar, and for the concierge. I know that the crew changes over in Winnipeg, so I am assuming that we tip the concierge on boarding.........


Sorry....but I don’t know why anyone would ever tip in advance. Isn’t that a bribe? If the attendant doesn’t provide the service he is being paid for and has to be bribed.....does he deserve a tip?

VIA,s staff are well paid unionized employees with good benefits. If someone goes out of their way and does something special for you......by all means give them a tip!

On the Ocean for example...I nearly always tip in the Diner. But my sleeper attendant....seldom as I rarely have any interaction with them. I handle my own carry-on and lower the bed myself.
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#5 caravanman

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:21 AM

Folk just want to fit in, and not be obviously doing the wrong thing. With "tipping" being so much part of the work scene in USA, it is understandable to want to know the "norms" elsewhere.

 

I can't remember the tipping situation when I took the Canadian a few years back, I believe I just left a few $ after meals, if that was what most folk did.

 

I do remember enjoying the free flowing champagne samples!

 

Ed.



#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:29 AM

I haven't ridden in "Prestige Class" ( poor retiree)but as a many time rider on the Canadian, a few "tips" that might help you:

There is no Conductor in the cars ( they ride in the engine with the Engineer), so a Chief of Onboard Services is in charge of the OBS Crew. They traditionally aren't tipped, they're considered management.

The Diner Crews and the Park Car attendants should be tipped if they provide friendly,efficient service,which most do.Youll find the meals are excellent and the Steward ( Diner Manager/do not tip) and Waiters are usually very good on this train! So maybe $ 2 each for breakfast,$3 for Lunch ( there is one morning for a brunch/combined breakfast and lunch)and $5 for Dinner is a working formula.

Since you're drinks are comped/included, Id tip a couple of dollars for each round.

As for your Sleeping Car attendant, they should do your bedding daily, clean your restroom and provide towels etc. If satisfactory I'd say $10 a day/ If Super service maybe $20. ( All amounts are in Canadian $$)

There has been lots of discussion on here and other train forums about the delays due to freight on this route.

I suggest that y'all sit back and enjoy the trip of a lifetime and answer the question " When do we get there?" with "The
Later the better!"

Have a ball, this is memory book stuff!😎

Edited by Bob Dylan, 16 April 2018 - 11:33 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#7 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 11:30 AM

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies.  Except the US.


.


#8 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:45 PM

I haven't ridden in "Prestige Class" ( poor retiree)but as a many time rider on the Canadian, a few "tips" that might help you:
 

I honestly can't figure out why anyone would pay that kinda $$$ over a bedroom. But I'm not the target demographic that's for sure! 

 

When I last checked the prices, I was even thinking of a Section instead of a Roomette. But that's partly because I want to ride overnight in a section just to say I did it. They won't be around forever, that's for sure. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:16 PM


I haven't ridden in "Prestige Class" ( poor retiree)but as a many time rider on the Canadian, a few "tips" that might help you:
 

I honestly can't figure out why anyone would pay that kinda $$$ over a bedroom. But I'm not the target demographic that's for sure! 
 
When I last checked the prices, I was even thinking of a Section instead of a Roomette. But that's partly because I want to ride overnight in a section just to say I did it. They won't be around forever, that's for sure. 
I've been in Roomettes ( Cabin for one/two) and Sections on the Canadian, ( never a Bedroom/Compartment)and a Lower Berth still is the most comfortable sleeping I've had on any train. (Upper Berth is comfortable too but has no window and the ladder to get into/out off)

Plus, on the "off season", you can get some real deals compared to Summer. 😍
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 03:05 PM

The VIA Rail Roomette is the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in on a train. On a long journey like the Canadian, I like the ability to just close my door and relax alone if I want to, even though most of my time awake is spent in the Diner, Dome, or Park Car. 

 

I wonder what the odds are that if you book a Section solo, you end up with with the whole section to yourself? Probably better odds if you book a lower bed...  

 

On my next trip I'll probably get off in Jasper and ride the Prince Rupert train, so that would break up the amount of time without a private room anyways. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#11 zephyr17

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 04:54 PM

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies.  Except the US.

Canada has pretty much the same tipping culture as the US.


Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#12 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:55 PM

 

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies.  Except the US.


Canada has pretty much the same tipping culture as the US.

 

Tipped positions in the US can make as little as $2.15 per hour before tips with no government funded healthcare or other basic benefits.  This makes tips a major and necessary source of income for millions of Americans.  You can find a similar reliance on tips and handouts in any number of undeveloped countries all over the world.  Although tipping is practiced at similar rates in Canada the fundamental need for each and every customer to provide at least a minimum level tip in order to cover the most basic expenses is far less common.  In Canada it's mainly foreign workers without a work permit who truly need your tips.  In the US it's the citizens themselves who can't survive without them.  That's a distinction with a difference.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 16 April 2018 - 07:59 PM.

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#13 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:24 PM

Good point Chris! The Shame of America is a lack of National Health for all, and the Greed ( and the Racism and Sexism) of the rich who don't want to share with the less fortunate.

Having lived in Canada, I'd choose their system of Social Services over ours in a New York minute! YMMV

Edited by Bob Dylan, 17 April 2018 - 09:57 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#14 Trogdor

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:37 PM

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies.  Except the US.


I’m unclear. Is the US in the undeveloped country category or the industrialized democracy category?
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#15 Palmetto

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:22 AM

Back to the Canadian.  On my trip, I tipped only for service in the Skyline car.   Sleeping car attendants turn over in Winnepeg.  We arrived in Winnepeg at 2:00 AM, and the attendant was nowhere to be found when I went to bed.  In fact, I saw him only once between Vancouver and Winnepeg.  I spent most of my day time in the dome and dining car. 

 

The other attendant, from Winnepeg to Toronto, was nowhere to be found on the platform upon our 8:30 late arrival.  

 

Question:  it would seem that two tips are in order for sleeping car attendants.  Yes?  No?  



#16 zephyr17

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:33 PM

 

 

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies.  Except the US.


Canada has pretty much the same tipping culture as the US.

 

Tipped positions in the US can make as little as $2.15 per hour before tips with no government funded healthcare or other basic benefits.  This makes tips a major and necessary source of income for millions of Americans.  You can find a similar reliance on tips and handouts in any number of undeveloped countries all over the world.  Although tipping is practiced at similar rates in Canada the fundamental need for each and every customer to provide at least a minimum level tip in order to cover the most basic expenses is far less common.  In Canada it's mainly foreign workers without a work permit who truly need your tips.  In the US it's the citizens themselves who can't survive without them.  That's a distinction with a difference.

 

Okay.  For the tipper, the tipping culture is the same.  That's all, folks.


Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#17 JRR

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:58 PM

All I know is that in South Florida, Canadians have the reputation of being bad tippers.


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#18 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:48 PM

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies. Except the US.


Im unclear. Is the US in the undeveloped country category or the industrialized democracy category?


Yes.

 

In general I've found tipping to be a major source of income among undeveloped countries but mostly unnecessary in industrialized democracies. Except the US.


Canada has pretty much the same tipping culture as the US.


Tipped positions in the US can make as little as $2.15 per hour before tips with no government funded healthcare or other basic benefits. This makes tips a major and necessary source of income for millions of Americans. You can find a similar reliance on tips and handouts in any number of undeveloped countries all over the world. Although tipping is practiced at similar rates in Canada the fundamental need for each and every customer to provide at least a minimum level tip in order to cover the most basic expenses is far less common. In Canada it's mainly foreign workers without a work permit who truly need your tips. In the US it's the citizens themselves who can't survive without them. That's a distinction with a difference.


Okay. For the tipper, the tipping culture is the same. That's all, folks.


Sure, for the incurious tipper who is blind to cultural nuance there is no difference whatsoever. Personally, I tip in Canada like I tip in Europe. A little extra here and there to recognize above average service. I tip in the US like I tip in Mexico, where I know my tips can either make or break someone's monthly budget and possibly leave them having to choose between food and medicine.

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#19 zephyr17

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:56 PM

And thus are recognized in Canada as stiffing the waitstaff.  While in Canada, the tips tend more toward 10%-15% rather than 15-20 in the US, the basic tipping etiquette in Canada is the same as the US.


Edited by zephyr17, 17 April 2018 - 03:56 PM.

Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
Via Rail Canada: Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal); 
Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#20 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:24 AM

And thus are recognized in Canada as stiffing the waitstaff.  While in Canada, the tips tend more toward 10%-15% rather than 15-20 in the US, the basic tipping etiquette in Canada is the same as the US.


10 to 15% sounds about right

Minimum wage is higher here and governed by provincial legislation. It varies from around $11 to $14/hr…… plus there’s no need to worry about Health Care costs.
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