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「現役の星、80歳の客室乗務員」- Lessons from 60 Years as a Flight Attendant - ホープイングリッシュ


For nearly six decades, Bette Nash has been sharing her vibrant smile with the world—all from 30,000 feet. At 80 years young, it's safe to say that she's seen it all and served them all. Few people know more about the pace of change in travel than Bette, who's thought to be the world's oldest active flight attendant.

I wanted to be a flight attendant from the time I got on the first airplane. I was 16 years old—the pilot and the flight attendant walked across the hall, and I thought, Oh my God! I said that was for me.

At the time, flying was a lavish experience. It was a sophisticated party up in the air. Today, glancing around the tightly-packed plane, it's far from the white-gloved glamor of the golden years. Yet Bette still loves it just as much as ever.

I love my people. And I love being on the same flight all the time that I know my customers. You know what they want. The airline thinks names are important, but I think a lot of times, people's needs are very important. Everybody wants a little love.

After 59 years, there's still no stopping her.

I started with the Eastern Air Lines November 4, 1957, and the rest is history. Some of the trips that I flew in the beginning—I flew these 13-hour days. I remember going, you know, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami, and I was the only one on the plane. You worked harder physically in those days.

When she first flew, training was focused more on appearance.

People called it "Charm School" in those days. They took you to the beauty parlor and cut all your hair off. You could wear mascara. You couldn't wear eyeshadow. You had to be a certain height and a certain weight. And you were constantly being weighed.

And the outfits, as we saw at the Smithsonian, changed with the mood of each era.

The attire was—when I first started—was very conservative. My gosh. Then we started getting very, you know, out there in the world. You know, we had the hot pants, the go-go boots...you know, a turtleneck shirt that came up to here and buttoned underneath. After that, then things started calming down a little bit.

Yet nothing's changed more in the industry than technology.

When I first started flying, they would chalk everything up on a board. Now you have the computer screens. There's very little left of...the manual way of life. Everything was on a piece of paper before, and now everything is on a tablet. Technology really made the difference of "Am I gonna stay or am I gonna go?" And even if—when I think I might retire or something, then I come to work and I think, Oh, I couldn't...I couldn't do that. It's stimulating coming out here and even walking through the airport. The airlines are evolving continuously. And I think you have to evolve with them.

And Bette's neither deterred nor threatened by it.

They'll never phase out a flight attendant, because they need the human touch. And people need that human interaction.





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