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Bette Nash, world’s longest-serving flight attendant, dies at 88

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FILE-Bette Burke-Nash is the longest serving flight attendant poses for a photo. (Photo by Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Bette Nash, the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, has died. She was 88 years old. 

“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 wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. 

Nash died in hospice after a recent breast cancer diagnosis, and never officially retired from her role with American Airlines, Business Insider reported.

FILE-American Airlines longest serving flight attendant, Bette Nash, 81 years old, checks the passengers’ seats for forgotten items before disembarking from her daily return flight to Boston at Ronald Reagan Washington Airport in Arlington, Virginia

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She earned a college degree and later applied for a job as a flight attendant, earning her first job with Eastern Airlines — which later became American Airlines — in 1957, CNN reported. 

During her career, Nash witnessed significant changes in the aviation industry from technology to heightened security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Business Insider noted. 

In 2022, she was honored with the Guinness World Record title for longest-serving flight attendant. “Her career surpasses the last longest flight attendant with 63 yrs. 61 days as of Jan 4, 2021,” the memo stated.

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The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the union representing flight attendants, shared a tribute to Nash on their official Facebook page. 

“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”.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C. 

 

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