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Bette Nash, who was named the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, dies at 88

Bette Nash, once known as the world’s longest serving flight attendant, has passed away at the age of 88.

Nash’s employer, American Airlines, announced her death on social media on Saturday, saying she had been a warm and welcoming guest on board its flights for nearly 70 years.

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“Bette was a legend at American Airlines and across the aviation industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants,” American Airlines wrote on Facebook. “Fly high, Bette. We will miss you.”

Nash began her career as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines in 1957, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which shared a tribute to her online. The union noted that she was based in the Washington, D.C. area.

Nash used his position at Eastern to move to American Airlines, which acquired many of Eastern’s routes in 1990.

Flight attendant Bette Nash poses on an airplane at Logan International Airport in Boston on Dec. 18, 2014. Nash, who was once named the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, has died. She was 88. Nash’s employer, American Airlines, announced her death on social media on Saturday. (AP Photo by Dina Rudich/The Boston Globe via AP)

“Bet will always be an integral part of our history and will not be forgotten,” the APFA said.

ABC News reported that Nash had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was in hospice care when she died on May 17. A spokesman for the airline told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Nash was still employed by the airline at the time of her death.

According to the Guinness World Records, Nash was born on December 31, 1935, and began her career as a flight attendant at the age of 21. In 2022, Guinness recognized Nash as the world’s longest serving flight attendant. As of January 4, 2021, her service years had reached 63 years and 61 days, surpassing the previous year’s record.

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“I wanted to be a flight attendant from the first time I flew on a plane, I was 16 and sitting with my mom on a green leather couch in Washington[Reagan National Airport],” Nash told CNN in a 2016 interview, recalling the awe she felt watching the flight attendants fly by.

Nash told CNN that after graduating from college he applied for a job in aviation and “the rest is history.”

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