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World’s Longest-Serving Flight Attendant Passes Away

Bette Nash began her career in 1957 at Eastern Air Lines and had continually flown since.

Bette Nash passed away after a 67-year career as a flight attendant (Photo: American Airlines)

The world’s longest-serving flight attendant Bette Nash has passed away after a battle with cancer, American Airlines confirmed on Saturday. Nash started her career as a so-called “stewardess” for Eastern Air Lines in 1957, eventually ending up at American through a series of mergers.

“We mourn the passing of Bette Nash, who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air. She started in 1957 and held the Guinness World Record for longest-serving flight attendant. Bette inspired generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Bette,” the airline said in a statement.

In June 2022, Guinness World Records officially recognized Nash as the longest-serving flight attendant ever at 65 years of service. She was based in Washington, D.C., known for flying the airline’s shuttle service to Boston.

According to ABC News, Nash regularly opted for this route so she could be home each night to take care of her son who has disabilities. She is survived by her son and “many dear close friends,” the airline told flight attendants in a Saturday memo.

“I wanted to be a flight attendant from the first moment I got on an airplane,” she told CNN during a 2017 interview. Nash’s decorated career spans several industry downturns, including the Sept. 11th attacks and COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bette has taken care of millions of our customers, around the world, for the past six decades,” said former American CEO Doug Parker during Nash’s 60th anniversary celebration.“It’s the simple things that she does each day, like greet customers with a warm smile, friendly hello and thanking them for their business that has added to her legacy and ability to create an airline that customers want to fly. On behalf of Bette’s more than 120,000 fellow team members, we are honored to celebrate her and her milestone 60 years of service today.”

A Virginia native, the airline told D.C.-based flight attendants that Nash passed away peacefully on Friday evening. “She will be missed dearly, but we take comfort in knowing she is now resting peacefully,” the memo added.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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