A few years ago I first wrote about Bette Nash, who is American’s most senior flight attendant, and at the time had been with the airline for 57 years (or more accurately, with American’s predecessors). I wrote about her again in 2016, as she was still going strong after all these years.
What impresses me most about Bette isn’t how long she has been at the airline (though that’s also really impressive), but more importantly, what an incredible attitude she has, talking about how everyone just wants a little bit of love:
“People want a little love. And I don’t mean a lot of hugging and everything, even though we might do that. But this is the big thing: People need attention. You can’t buy love. You can’t buy attention. But people need this. And it’s for free.”
Apparently Bette primarily works the “shuttle” flights between Washington and Boston, as she wants to be home every night to take care of her special needs son.
Well, yesterday was a very special day for Bette, as she celebrated her 60th anniversary with American Airlines. WOW!
Per the press release:
“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,” said Nash.
As American’s most senior flight attendant, Bette can fly any route she’d like. Since 1961 Bette has often chosen to fly the shuttle route between DCA and Boston (BOS) taking customers back and forth all day.
Over the years, Bette has made several lasting relationships with customers on board the shuttle that have become like family. Simon Johnson, a Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management, is one of these customers. Simon flies the shuttle weekly and has done so since 2008. “I think what is most amazing and impressive about Bette is the way she warms up the entire aircraft. You walk on, you meet her, she knows your name, she remembers the conversation that she was having with you yesterday or last week or a month ago,” he said.
Bette and a few of her colleagues who work together regularly are affectionately known as the “Nash-Dash.” Instead of making a mad-dash between Washington D.C. and Boston, customers aboard Bette’s flight make the Nash-Dash.
The Nash-Dash, love it!
Bette, thanks for doing what you do and for being so awesome. The world needs more people like you.
While I don’t usually like to attend most media events, American invited me to Bette’s anniversary party, and unfortunately I had a schedule conflict. This is the most bummed I’ve been about not having been able to attend an event in a long time, as I would have loved to thank her personally for being such an inspiration.
Keep doing what you’re doing, and here’s to hoping she has many more work anniversaries in the sky! She might be 82, but she sure doesn’t act her age.
Here’s a local news story about yesterday’s event:
Bette isn’t the only American employee who recently celebrated a crazy work anniversary. In July, a 91 year old mechanic celebrated his 75th anniversary.
Has anyone had the pleasure of flying with Bette?