Virginia Woman Celebrates 60 Years of Service in the Skies—World’s Most Senior Flight Attendant
If we could all have Bette Nash’s work ethic!
Bette Nash has spent a lot of time in the sky. The Virginia resident has been flying the friendly skies for 60 years as a flight attendant. She’s been in the air so long that she remembers the days when flight attendants had to be a certain height and weight and she would roll out the cigarettes and matches after a meal. “I would go around with Kent’s and Marlboros,” Nash told her local ABC affiliate.
Nash started her career on Eastern Airlines back in 1957. When they closed, she moved to the Trump shuttle (yes, that Trump), which also folded. Nash then moved to U.S. Airways and now, American Airlines. For years now—decades, really—Nash has been a staple on the shuttle that zips back and forth between Washington, D.C. and Boston. “When it started, I think it was $12 one-way,” Nash said, reminiscing to CNN, "The Kennedys used to fly with us."
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She flies the route several times a day and then drives home at the end of her shift. While the route doesn’t have the glamour of, say, a trip to Paris or London, the regular hours were important for Nash, because it meant that she could be home for her son. Nash a single mother and her child has special needs. “I have my handicap son. I wanted to be home every night. It wasn't a choice for me,” she told ABC.
Now, at 82 years of age, Nash may be the most senior flight attendant in the world. That hasn’t slowed her down much, though. She can still be seen working on the shuttle as it flies between Boston and D.C. She’s been on the route so long that she knows many of the passengers.
After years of dedicated service, Nash’s hard work, loyalty, and million-mile commitment was recently recognized in ceremony at Reagan National Airport. American Airlines helped her celebrate her so-called Diamond Jubilee with the airline, gifting her diamond Tiffany & Co. earrings, a $10,000 check to a food bank in her honor, 60 years of anniversary pins, and a very hearty thank you.