Country’s longest serving flight attendant dies at 88: ‘Fly high, Pete’

The nation’s longest-serving flight attendant has died of cancer at age 88, according to data from American Airlines and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

Betty Nash began flying with Eastern Airlines in 1957. The D.C.-based flight attendant preferred working the American shuttle flight from Washington, D.C., to Boston, because it allowed her to get home every night. She only planned to fly for a few years, but in the end, she ended up caring for passengers for nearly seven decades.

The name on the plane kept changing — from Eastern Airlines to Trump Shuttle, US Air Shuttle and now American Airlines — but Nash stayed. Even frequent travelers on the road recognized her.

“People are exactly the same,” Nash said in conversation. With CBS News in 2017. “Everyone needs a little love.”

“We mourn the passing of Betty Nash, who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air,” American Airlines said in a statement. Statement on social media. “She started in 1957 and holds the Guinness World Record for longest serving flight attendant. Pete has inspired generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Pete.”

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union that represents American Airlines flight attendants, told CBS News it was saddened by Nash’s death.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time. Beth will always be an integral part of our history, and she will not be forgotten,” the organization said.

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