In the USA there is no regulation setting a maximum age for flight attendants. With this lack of regulation and strong FA unions, we seeing an aging FA base among the legacy carriers of American, Delta, and United. And then there are some super veterans.
Bob Reardon has been flying for 63 years with Delta/Northwest and celebrated his 90th birthday today. I wish Bob a very happy birthday and wish even more I could fly with him–I love flying with walking historians. He’s based in Detroit Wayne and typically does the Tokyo Narita flight a few times a month, which means he keeps nearly a full schedule.
I think there is a tendency to consider FAs like this mere novelties, but I would not be so quick to judge. My uncle turns 87 this year and he reminds me of Bob–he has never slowed down, still maintains a full schedule, and is in near-perfect health. He is strong, stable, and could easily help others in case of an emergency or work the aisles for most of a 12hr flight.
I have to assume Reardon is in a similar circumstance.
One of my career goals is never to retire. I work for myself, setting my own hours and balancing work and life on my terms. Such a life is not without great stress and sometimes the balance is out of whack, but I do love what I do and I hope to continue to do what I love. I take it that anyone who is still flying at 90 does by choice, not by necessity, and what a great example–90 years old and flying to Japan three times a month.
I tend to think our aging process has more to do with our genes than anything else, but all the sharp old-timers that I know keep very active schedules–working, volunteering, and traveling. That must have something to do wtih it.
Life is gift. Happy Birthday Bob!