86 years old, American Airlines flight attendant Bette Nash is the oldest and longest-serving flight attendant in the world, according to Guinness World Records. This is not a feel good story.

“Nash started flying back in 1957 and will celebrate 65 years in-flight this fall.

“She can choose any route she wants and for most of her career she has been loyal to the New York-Washington-Boston Shuttle.

“Nash prefers this route because she says it allows her to be home every night with her handicapped son who she continues to care for to this day.

From the first few sentences we realize she has no safety net, no social life, no home nurse to care for her elderly son, or extended family to help. The biggest omissions are that the airlines never created a pension for her and she’ll being working until she dies.

“Nash started flying with Eastern Airlines and through a number of mergers, including with Donald Trump’s airline in the late 1980’s, ended up at American Airlines.”

She suffered years of humiliation and predatory behavior at her workplace.
The airline used to check on her at home to make sure she was single and not living with a man. They would weigh her regularly to make sure she didn’t gain weight. She had to meet the weight and height requirements. They would take women who couldn’t maintain their weight off the payroll. When did these practices change? Have they changed?

Women are often the caretakers of children, the disabled, and the elderly. They are no guaranteed social safety nets for the elderly, caregivers, or the disabled. If you make “too much” you may not qualify anyway. You may say there are assisted care facilities, long term care, and group housing but those places are often run by corrupt businesses and are rife with crime and abuse. A quality place costs as much as college tuition. Many places have closed down due to the pandemic or have been defunded before the Covid lockdowns.

86 years old, American Airlines flight attendant Bette Nash is the oldest and longest-serving flight attendant in the world, according to Guinness World Records. This is not a feel good story.