World’s oldest flight attendant

You may have noticed that we love stories about older people living life to the fullest. So naturally we had to share Bette Nash’s incredibly story with you.

Proving that age is only a number, Bette Nash has been flying high at 30,000 feet for almost six decades. A feat that most likely makes her the world’s most senior flight attendant. And, at 80 years of age, there’s not much she hasn’t seen, or passengers she hasn’t served.

Reminiscing to CNN, Nash tells of how the Kennedys used to fly with American Airlines. The promise of a respectable career combined with the romance and glamour of flying is what drew Bette in initially. 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, and this crew came up from TWA. The pilot and the flight attendant walked across the hall and I thought oh my God, and I said that was for me.”

Beginning her career at Eastern Airlines in November 1957, Bette has witnessed and lived through the changes in flying from the front line over the past 59 years. Remembering the white-gloved glamour of flights gone past, when Bette started flying everyone wore their Sunday best and ate lobster from china plates. A sign of sophistication and class, planes were a place of luxury with Nash explaining how air stewardesses worked physically harder in those days – “We served this big meal tray. And I was the only one on the plane, so I had to take care of everybody.”

Having worn countless different styles of uniforms across the various eras and come from blackboards and books to everything now being on a screen, there is no doubt Nash would not be where she stands today if she wasn’t able to embrace change and adapt with the times and rapid rate of technology.

Now working for American Airlines, Bette has a regular daily route from Washington National to Boston Logan. Many of her passengers are friends and greet her as such, with big hugs and genuine care for each other.

When asked whether she thinks technology will ever replace her, Bette chuckles adding “they will never phase out a flight attendant, because they need the human touch. People need that human interaction.” Showing no signs of planting her feet on firm ground anytime soon, the world needs more Bette Nashs – a true inspiration to us all.

Watch the video of Bette and read the full story on her at CNN.


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Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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