I was rushing to check in at an airport in the States, when I saw someone in some kind of porter uniform at a curbside counter waving me to approach him. He told me that I could check in my luggage there, so it would be easier for me to run to the gate.
It was my first time to encounter this kind of off-the-curb service and I was glad. He asked for my flight number, gave me my claim stubs, and said that he would take good care of my luggage. I said “thank you” and started to run towards the building. “Madam,” he called out, “I will take very good care of your luggage,” and bowed. Thinking that maybe he mistook me for a Japanese, I also bowed to him, and I said again, “thank you very much.” Meters away from him, he called out again in a loud voice, “Yes, indeed, I will take good care of your bags, madam.” I looked back, smiled and ran to the gate.
As I sat on my airline seat, I wondered why he was so polite and so enthusiastic about his port duties. It then dawned on me that he was hinting at a tip. I regretted not having given him any, and actually worried about my bags since I didn’t leave a tip. There was no reason to fret. He did take care of my bags, which I got them at my destination, but I wished I knew about the etiquette of curbside check-ins. He certainly deserved a tip.