Tip for flight instructor


Quick question for pilots and any flight instructors on here.

How much do I tip my flight instructor when I pass my flight check?

My instructor has taken me through my BFR, Cirrus specific training and now my IFR rating (and I am getting close to my IFR ticket) and was wondering how much I should tip him.

Any advice would be extremely helpful.



I hardly ever got a tip after my students passed. ANY tip would be greatly appreciated. Better yet, take 'em out to dinner.


I used to take my flight instructor out for a beer or lunch/dinner periodically throughout training and to a great restaurant when I got each rating. They seemed to appreciate it.


Never got a tip. Got a couple nice Christmas gifts, but that’s about it.


I gave my CFI some great gifts while we were flying - he teaching - me flying. I gave him a great book & flying ornament for Christmas & a new flight bag that I let him pick out because I worked for Million Air & got a discount & the last gift I bought him after I soloed was a watch from Chase Durer - the Pilot Commander & he appreciated that greatly.

I felt he put up with me quite well… :smiley:


I suppose you could call those tips… :blush:

Jan whispers (no wonder he didn’t want to let go of me & do the solo thing) :wink:


Gave my flight instructors “meal tickets” AKA gift cards to a local restaurant of their flavor.



Thanks for the comments. :smiley:

From everybody’s comments, it appears that a tip isn’t necessarily expected or routinely given.

However, he is the best flight instructor that I have had (Not that I have had a lot: I have had a total of 4) and I have actually expressed concern to him that I am hoping he doesn’t go to one of the airlines and leave instructing until I get my rating.

In the end, I will probably give him $500 in a card that says “THANKS”.

With the card, hopefully he understands that someone really appreciated his patience and training and with the cash, he can spend it where he wants (food, more flight gear, rent, take his girl-friend out, etc).



My flight instructor was awesome, and he was and still is a friend, although he moved to texas.

After I got my private, I bought him a surefire aviator.

I’ll never forget one line from him, as I was working on transport for our new airplane

“You could pay him to fly it here, but he might pay you to let him, and he might chip in for fuel”

Proves that some people just love flying, don’t expect anything, and are grateful for everything.

Just my .02