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Is There a Maximum Age Limit to Work as a Flight Attendant?

Margaret Lipman
By
Published Jun 17, 2024
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Working as a flight attendant can be a challenging career path, no matter how old you are. Between long flights spent on one’s feet, interacting with difficult passengers while always remaining polite, cramped working conditions, unsociable schedules, and keeping up with the extensive safety training, flight attendants have a lot to deal with every time they put on their uniform.

Yet for Bette Nash, being a flight attendant was truly a calling. Nash, who died last month at age 88, held the Guinness World Records for the longest career as a flight attendant and the oldest active flight attendant. She began her career in 1957 and never officially retired.

Nash’s career began at age 21 when she was hired by Eastern Air Lines. She later joined the team at U.S. Airways, which became part of American Airlines in 2015. Nash was based out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), close to her home in Manassas, Virginia. Her favorite route was the 6:30 am commuter flight from DCA to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), nicknamed the “Nash Dash” in her honor.

Bette’s long career allowed her to provide for her son, Christian, who has Down syndrome. Although she had the flexibility to choose her routes, one of the reasons she enjoyed working the “Nash Dash” was to make it home for dinner with Christian in the evening.

A legend in the air:

  • By the time Nash earned the Guinness World Record for longest-serving flight attendant in 2022, she had been in the job for over 64 years.

  • Discussing her job with The Washington Post in 2007, Nash said, “I'm addicted to the lifestyle.” She discussed her love for interacting with people and giving them attention that would brighten their day.

  • After her passing, American Airlines wrote on Instagram that “Bette was a legend at American and throughout the industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants. Fly high, Bette. We’ll miss you.”

  • Contrary to what some may have assumed, there is no upper age limit for hiring cabin crew. In fact, many airlines seek out applicants in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who are considering a second career. Nor is there a mandated retirement age, though flight attendants must pass a medical check and be able to carry out the necessary emergency procedures.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
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Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
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