To celebrate one 82-year-old flight attendant’s diamond jubilee in November 2017, American Airlines gave her a pair of diamond earrings from Tiffany & Co. Likely the world’s oldest serving stewardess, she began her career when plane tickets were just $12. Amazingly, the octogenarian has no plans to retire yet.
When Bette Nash started her job as a flight attendant with now-defunct Eastern Airlines on Nov 4, 1957, she was only 21 years old.
— CBS 6 Albany – WRGB (@CBS6Albany) November 4, 2017
Nash knew she wanted to be a stewardess after she got on her first flight at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, when she was 16 years old.
According to American Airline Newsroom, she fell in love with “the spiffy appearance and gracious manners of the crew members.”
Back then, one had to be of a certain height and weight to qualify for the job.
“You put on a few pounds and you had to keep weighing yourself, and then if you stayed that way, they would take ya off the payroll!” Nash told ABC 7.
At that time, plane tickets cost $12 one-way, and flight schedules were written on chalkboards.
“They chalk up all the morning flights with chalk and in the afternoon, they’d erase it and chalk it up again,” said Nash, in an interview with WUSA9.
In those days, the more affluent first-class passengers dressed to the nine as they dined on lobster and duck a l’orange, served on silverware and porcelain.
Meanwhile, the less well-off “tourist”-class passengers had 50-cent sandwiches, and milk for 15 cents.
Six decades later, Nash is still flying on American Airlines’ Washington-Boston-Washington route.
She rises at 2:10 in the morning as her two alarm clocks go off. After preparing food for her disabled son, she reports in for work.
Dressed in a dark suit accented with a colored scarf, Nash said her uniforms have changed over the years, AFP reported. During John Kennedy’s tenure as the President of the United States, they even wore “hot pants for a brief period.”
And she remembered serving the Kennedys. “Jackie Kennedy was on my flight, Bobby Kenney, Ethel Kennedy, Ted Kennedy,” she recalled.
Sixty years on the job, Nash is still passionate about her profession, as she loves people.
Talking to Condé Nast Traveler, Nash said, “My favorite part of flying over the years has been greeting my passengers as they board and deplane. People really are fascinating, and it’s truly been a joy.”
“Everybody wants a little love,” she told CNN.
Speaking of her retirement, the spry octogenarian said, “I don’t want to think about it!”
“Just keep going,” she said.
Nash is an inspirational woman, isn’t she? She certainly deserves our respect as she shows us there’s never a mandatory age for retiring.
Watch the video:
AMAZING WOMAN: Help us celebrate Bette Nash's 60th anniversary as a flight attendant. At 82, she's the oldest flight attendant in the world and is still loving her job 💕 FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/2ze5kHt
Posted by ABC 7 News – WJLA on Friday, November 3, 2017