The Boston Globe ran a fun story over the weekend about Bette Nash, a 79 year old US Airways flight attendant who has been flying for 57 years. That possibly makes her the longest serving active flight attendant in the world.
Here’s a video of her on a Washington National to Boston flight:
The article is also well worth a read, and focuses on how the industry has fundamentally shifted since she first started flying. But most insightful is the biggest lesson she has learned from all of these years:
But Bette, as she approaches her birthday on New Year’s Eve, says she has found something that seems universal and true.
“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,” Bette says. “You can give this to people for free.”
What an awesome person!
I find that the super senior flight attendants (the ones that have been flying for 40+ years) are both among the best and the worst in the industry. Some long for the “good old days” of how things used to be and are disgruntled and disgusted by the current state of the US airline industry, and let that out on passengers. Others genuinely seem to love what they do, regardless of whether they’re serving filet or pretzels. And Bette definitely seems to fall in the latter category.
I hope to fly with her one day!