World’s Oldest Flight Attendant

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World’s Oldest Flight Attendant - Bette Nash
World’s Oldest Flight Attendant - Bette Nash

Of all the strong women in the world, 80-year-old Bette Nash is quite possibly the most prime example.

Still glowing with phenomenal health, and as glamorous as ever, Ms. Nash still takes to the skies as a US flight attendant. It is claimed that she is in fact the oldest living flight attendant, and there are no signs that she will lose this record title, for years to come.

Ms. Nash has outlived most of her colleagues, and the majority of pilots she has flown with throughout the years have long since retired. But she has no intention of stopping any time soon!




Lifestyle and culture has radically altered during the more than half a century that she has been taking to the skies.

When she began her career in 1957 aged just 16, flying was considered to be a fashionable status symbol, and passengers were highly sophisticated. She remembers passing out complementary cigarettes after meals were served, as smoking on flights had not yet been banned. The primary role of a flight attendant in those days was to look beautiful, and Ms. Nash expertly played the part of a glamorous party hostess in the festive atmosphere that once existed on airplanes.


That party lifestyle no longer takes place during the modern day, with air travel more readily available for every class of person.

However, Ms. Nash had been primarily attracted to this career because of her sincere love of people, and unrelenting drive to be of caring service to humanity. Meeting people’s needs is her primary motivation for not retiring.

Her international lifestyle has enabled her to witness history unfold around the world. She has observed twelve US presidents come and go, and lived through the cold war. Chillingly, she was even scheduled to work on a flight from Washington, on that fateful day, September the 11th.


Technology has also advanced before her very eyes.

In the days before computerized flight timetables, Ms. Nash would have to figure out which flight she was scheduled to work on by scanning the flight details hand written on a giant chalkboard.

Once upon a time she would work grueling 13 hour days. Now, however, she has cut her workload down to just mornings as she has a down-syndrome son in his forties, that also requires a large slice of her tenderness and devotion. Nevertheless, this strong woman still manages to juggle it all. What an inspiration, and clearly Bette Nash’s example can encourage all women to believe that they too can maintain phenomenal health and be strong women!

Image credit: CNN Youtube