World’s longest-serving flight attendant dies at 88

CBS Bette NashCBS

Bette Nash, the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, has died aged 88 after nearly 70 years of airborne service.

The news was broken by her employer, American Airlines, which mourned her death in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“She started in 1957 and held the Guinness World Record for longest-serving flight attendant,” the airline said.

“Bette inspired generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Bette.”

Ms Nash began her career at the age of 21 with Eastern Airlines, the forerunner of American Airlines, working on its shuttle flight between Washington DC, where she lived, and Boston. She preferred the route because it allowed her to spend every night at home.

She had intended to move on after a few years, but ended up staying, becoming a familiar sight to frequent flyers on the route. She never officially retired from her post.

“The people are exactly the same,” she told the BBC’s US partner CBS News in 2017. “Everybody needs a little love.”

According to other US media outlets, she died on 17 May in a hospice after recently having been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union which represented Ms Nash, told CBS it was saddened by her death.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. Bette will always be an integral part of our history and she will not be forgotten.”

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