“People are exactly the same,” flight attendant says after 60 years in the air

Flight attendant Bette Nash. CBS NEWS

WASHINGTON — If it seems like everyone knows flight attendant Bette Nash on an early-morning American Shuttle flight from Washington, D.C., to Boston, it’s because they do.

Flight crews call the route the “Nash dash.” And this month, Nash is celebrating her 60th anniversary in the air.

“She is magnificent,” said frequent flier Florence Tate. “She’s my mentor — the cup is always half-filled.”

Nash said the people she meets is why she has been doing her job for so long.

“I thrive on the people,” Nash said. “You say something to them and they say something to you and they’re happy — and of course I like being paid, too.”

Nash started in November 1957.

Flight attendant Bette Nash in her early days in the air. CBS NEWS


The names on the planes changed — Eastern, Trump Shuttle, U.S. Air shuttle and now American. So has the industry. In the 1950s, flight attendants were typically required to be single and couldn’t work past their early 30s.

Nash planned to do this for a couple years. Instead she turns 82 next month with no plans to retire.

She said the technology is the biggest thing that has changed.

“There’s nothing like technology that has changed,” Nash said. “The people are exactly the same. Everybody needs a little love” — especially at 30,000 feet in the air at 6:30 in the morning.

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