Remembering Bette Nash, The World’s Longest-Serving Flight Attendant 

Bette Nash has become an icon in the world of air travel. She holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving flight attendant in the world. She unfortunately recently passed away at the age of 88, but her legacy will live on among her peers, and in the world of aviation.

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Bette Nash holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving flight attendant. American Airlines and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants recently announced that Nash has passed away at the age of 88. Her legacy, and commitment to helping travelers have the best possible airplane experience, lives on among her peers, and within the world of aviation. 

“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,” American Airlines said in a statement posted to X.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the union representing flight attendants in the United States, also posted a tribute for Nash online.

“Bette’s remarkable career spanned over six decades, during which she touched countless lives with her warmth, dedication and unparalleled service,” the APFA wrote.

“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.”

Nash started her iconic career as a flight attendant on November 4th, 1957 at Eastern Airlines in Washington, DC, which is no longer in service. 

Back in 2016, writers for CNN were able to interview and fly with Nash during her daily route from Reagan Washington National to Boston Logan on American Airlines. At the time of the interview, Nash was 80-years-old, and discussed how the “romance and glamor” of flying is what made her want to become a flight attendant.

“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], and this crew came up from TWA,” she stated.

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“The pilot and the flight attendant walked across the hall and I thought ‘Oh my God,’ and I said that was for me … and the rest is history.”

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Nash got her college degree, but always maintained her dream of working on airplanes. After she got her degree, she applied for a job to become a flight attendant, at the time the title was stewardess, “and the rest is history.”

ABC News reported that Nash passed away on May 17th in hospice care, and she never officially retired from her long and iconic career with American Airlines. 

She received the Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a flight attendant in 2022.

“Her career surpasses the last longest flight attendant with 63 years, 61 days as of January 4, 2021,” said Guinness.

In her 2016 interview, Nash discussed how the world of aviation changed a lot during her 60-plus years working. 

“You worked harder physically 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,” said Nash. 

“Technology really made the difference of, ‘Am I going to stay or am I going to go? But even when I think I might retire or something, I come to work and think, ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that.’ It’s stimulating coming out here. The airlines are evolving continuously, and you have to evolve with them,” she said.