Bette Nash dead: World's longest-serving flight attendant dies aged 88 as American Airlines pays tribute

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Bette Nash, once named the world's longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88

Bette Nash, once named the world's longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88. American Airlines, Nash's employer, announced her passing on social media Saturday (May 25). The carrier said Nash spent nearly 70 years “warmly caring for customers in the air.”

American Airlines wrote on Facebook: “We mourn the passing of flight attendant Bette Nash who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air. She started her career in 1957 and proudly held the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving flight attendant. Bette was a legend at American and throughout the industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Bette. We’ll miss you.”

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Association of Professional Flight Attendants, also shared a tribute to Nash online. It said: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of DCA-based Flight Attendant Bette Nash, the world's most senior flight attendant.

“Bette's remarkable career spanned over six decades, during which she touched countless lives with her warmth, dedication, and unparalleled service. Her passion for flying and her commitment to her passengers were truly inspiring. Bette's legacy will forever be remembered in the aviation community and by all who had the privilege of knowing her.”

Bette Nash, once named the world's longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88Bette Nash, once named the world's longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88
Bette Nash, once named the world's longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88 | Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to Guinness World Records, Nash was born on December 31, 1935 and began her flight attendant career at the age of 21. In 2022, Guinness named Nash the world's longest-serving flight attendant — officially surpassing the previous record one year earlier, with 63 years and 61 days of service as of January 4, 2021.

Nash told CNN in a 2016 interview that she felt the ‘awe upon seeing a flight crew walk by’. She said: “I wanted to be a flight attendant from the time I got on the first airplane — I was 16 years old, I was sitting with my mother on a green leather couch at Washington (Reagan National Airport). Nash said she applied for the in-air job after graduating from college, “and the rest is history."

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