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Bette Nash, the World’s Oldest Flight Attendant, Has Tragically Died at the Age of 86 After Battling Breast Cancer

Bette Nash, the World’s Oldest Flight Attendant, Has Tragically Died at the Age of 86 After Battling Breast Cancer

a woman in a uniform standing in a room with a door open

Bette Nash, the world’s oldest flight attendant who was still working for American Airlines at the age of 86, has tragically passed away after entering an end-of-life hospice just over a month ago with breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones.

Bette’s long career in the aviation industry spanned more than six decades, starting all the way back in 1957 when she started flying for Eastern Airlines at just 21 years years old – an airline that would eventually become part of American Airlines.

Bette described why she wanted to become a flight attendant (or an air hostess as they were known then) in a 2019 interview, saying that she was attracted by the “spiffy appearances and gracious manners of the crew members”.

Based out of AA’s Washington DCA crew base, in more recent years, Nash would most often work the short hop between Washington D.C. and Boston. Regulars on the route affectionately called the flight the “Nash Dash”.

During the same 2019 interview, Bette said that after six decades of flying, she still found the job fun and had no intention of retiring.

Tragically, Bette never had the chance to have a proper send-off from the job that she dedicated her life to after her health quickly deteriorated as a result of her battle with cancer.

American Airlines had not publicly acknowledged Bette’s health woes until Saturday when the carrier said in a post on X: “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.”

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