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Time flies along with 81-year-old flight attendant

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-23 15:08

Bette Nash, 81, American Airlines' longest-serving flight attendant, greets passengers disembarking from a flight from Boston at Ronald Reagan Washington Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Eric Baradat / Agence Francepresse

WASHINGTON - American Airlines flight 2160 from Boston has just arrived in Washington, and Bette Nash, 81, helps the passengers disembark.

They embrace her, take photos and express their thanks.

It's always like this.

After six decades crossing the skies as a flight attendant, Nash still has impeccable style, incredible energy and a constant smile.

She has lost only one thing: Her anonymity.

Kendra Taylor, a passenger, beams after taking a selfie with the octogenarian, whom she had hoped to meet.

"When I saw her I was like, Oh my gosh! I just saw her on TV last week!"

In a dark suit accented by a colored scarf, with her hair in a bun, Nash lends herself to accolades and plays with the compliments.

She is the undisputed star of the Airbus jet, rather than the captain, Mike Margiotta, who emerges from the flight deck.

"Very professional," he says of his model hostess.

"She's got that old-school way of doing things."

In the United States, pilots must retire at 65, but there is no such restriction on commercial flight attendants, of whom Bette Nash is probably the world's most senior.

See her gliding through the terminal concourse, pulling her suitcase, and it's hard not to be taken by the admiring words one hears about her.

"I start my day at 2:10 in the morning. I have two alarm clocks and when they go off I don't lie there, I get up," Nash says.

At her home in Virginia, Nash prepares food for her only son, who is disabled, and who will be waiting for her return to solid ground.

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