The world's longest-serving flight attendant dies at 88 years old

Bette Nash, who worked as a flight attendant for almost 67 years, has passed away at the age of 88. She held the record for being the flight attendant with the longest tenure in the world.

“We are sad to let you know that our dear colleague, Bette Nash, who was the flight attendant with the longest tenure at American Airlines, has passed away,” said a memo to flight attendants on Saturday that was obtained by ABC News.

Nash passed away on May 17 while receiving hospice care. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer recently, but she had not retired from her position at American Airlines.

Nash started working in Washington, D.C. in 1957 for Eastern Airlines, which later became American Airlines. Nash chose to primarily work the DC-NY-Boston Shuttle route so that she could be home every night to take care of her son, who has Down syndrome, even though she had the option to choose any route in the world.

In 2022, she received the Guinness World Record for being the flight attendant who has served the longest.

“Bette was a great role model for everyone in the airline industry, not just flight attendants. She had a quick wit, a magnetic personality, and a strong passion for helping others,” said Brady Byrnes, senior vice president of Inflight & Premium Guest Services for American Airlines, in the memo.

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When Nash began her aviation career, passengers used to buy life insurance from a vending machine before getting on the plane. Flights between New York and Washington cost $12. In a 2022 interview with ABC News, she said she was in D.C.

At that time, Nash thought about the strict rules about weight and personal relationships that she and other flight attendants had to follow in order to keep their jobs.

Nash mentioned that the airline would visit her at home to make sure she was not living with a man, as flight attendants were required to be single. According to her, the airline would also check her weight before each shift and could suspend her if she gained too much weight.

“You needed to be a specific height and weight.” It was really bad before. Nash explained that if you gained weight, you had to keep checking your weight. If you stayed that way, they would stop paying you. He shared this during a flight in 2017 while being filmed by ABC affiliate WJLA.

Before she died, Nash went through the standard training for flight attendants as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Bette was a very important person in the industry, and those who flew with her saw her as someone to look up to and a very skilled professional,” the airline said in the memo, adding, “Rest in peace, Bette.” “We will miss you.”

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