Was the Holiday Season Good for Tips?

01/20/2010 5:20 AM |

AKMED
Where I hailed him: Midtown
Where he hails from: Syria
Years as cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Student
Some people would say something like “Happy Holidays” when they tipped me, but I don’t know if they were giving me more than they would have otherwise. I didn’t make much money during the holidays this year, but that’s because I didn’t work as much. I think people are pretty generous with tips, though. Not as much as I’d like, but with the recession going on I think tips have held up pretty well.

DAVID
Where I hailed him: Crown Heights
Where he hails from: Queens
Years as cabbie: 4
Previous profession: Limo driver
You know, people have been cheap this year. They did tip a little better around the holidays, but it wasn’t much of a change. On New Year’s, someone gave me a bottle of champagne, which I think they stole from a party. They were all laughing about it, drunk, you know? So they gave it to me, and also a nice tip. I was afraid they would just give it to me and not tip, but they tipped. My wife doesn’t like me to drink, so a bottle of champagne would not be a good tip for me, see what I’m saying? But I brought it home and we had it, she said it was ok because it was New Year’s.

ERIC
Where I hailed him: Port Authority
Where he hails from: Brooklyn
Years as cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Always a driver
Definitely. The holiday season is big for tourists, and it helps to have so many people around. [Do tourists tip as well as New Yorkers?] No way. But it all adds up. Plus, the airport is one of the best places to be asked to go in terms of getting money, and you get asked to go there a lot around the holidays. I try not to work on actual holidays, though, since I want to be with my family. I’ll do Christmas Eve, but that’s it.

ASHTER
Where I hailed him: LES
Where he hails from: India
Years as cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Student
Everyone is pretty nice to me all year round. I don’t complain about tips. It’s not up to me what someone wants to give, and if they are cheap, they are cheap. There’s someone right behind them who will be more generous. Some people do tip better around the holidays, but January is bad because everyone already spent their money. It becomes even.

JIMMY
Where I hailed him: West Village
Where he hails from: India
Years as cabbie: 4
Previous profession: Perfume salesman
People used to tip better during the holidays, but no more. People do tip better during the daytime. I used to hear stories about people getting crazy tips on New Year’s Eve, but there were no stories this year.