July 21, 2024

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Betty Nash, the world’s longest serving flight attendant, has died at the age of 88

Betty Nash, the world’s longest serving flight attendant, has died at the age of 88

Nash worked as a flight attendant for American Airlines for nearly 67 years.

Betty Nash, the world’s longest serving flight attendant, has died after serving in the skies for nearly 67 years, at the age of 88.

“It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of our dear colleague Beth Nash, the longest-serving flight attendant on American Airlines,” said a memo to flight attendants on Saturday obtained by ABC News.

Nash died May 17 in a nursing home after recently being diagnosed with breast cancer, though she had not officially retired from her role at American Airlines.

Nash began her career in Washington, D.C., in 1957 with Eastern Airlines, which later became American Airlines. Although she could choose any route in the world, Nash primarily worked the shuttle service between D.C., New York and Boston so she could return home each night to care for her son, who has Down syndrome.

In 2022, she was honored with the Guinness World Records title for tallest flight attendant.

“With her quick wit, engaging personality and passion for serving others, Beth has set an example not only for the flight attendant profession but for all of us in the airline industry,” said Brady Burns, senior vice president of premium in-flight guest services at American. The airlines said in the memo.

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When Nash first started her aviation career, travelers would buy life insurance from a vending machine before boarding a plane — and flights between New York and Washington cost $12. D.C., she told ABC News in a 2022 interview.

At the time, Nash thought about the strict weight and interpersonal restrictions she and other flight attendants had to endure to maintain their careers.

Nash said the airline will check on her at home to make sure she is not living with a man because flight attendants must be single. She said the airline also weighed her before shifts and could ground her if she gained too much weight.

“You had to be a certain height, you had to be a certain weight. It was terrible. You would gain a few pounds and you had to keep weighing yourself, and then if you stayed like that, they would take you off.” “Payroll,” Nash said during a flight in 2017 with ABC affiliate WJLA cameras on board.

Before her death, Nash attended regular flight attendant training in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration rules.

“Bette was an industry icon, and those who flew with her knew her as a role model and consummate professional,” the airline said in the memo, adding: “Fly high, Pete. We will miss you.”