Ron Akana may be the nations longest-serving flight attendant

This is a great story about Flight Attendant Ron Akana.

Mr. Akana has held the No. 1 spot at United for the past five years, since Iris Peterson retired after 60 years of service at the age of 85.

While many of his older colleagues are still flying because they have to, Mr. Akana said he does not work for the paycheck alone. At one time, just after he turned 70, Mr. Akana was among the highest-paid flight attendants at the airline, earning $106,000 a year through a combination of pay, pension and Social Security — a situation that has earned him a “triple dipper” label by younger colleagues and airline bookkeepers.

Decades ago, hiring policies ensured that the ranks of flight attendants remained young. Stewardesses faced mandatory retirement by 32. If they married or became pregnant, they were out. In 1966, a New York Times classified ad for stewardesses at Eastern Airlines listed these requirements: “A high school graduate, single (widows and divorcees with no children considered), 20 years of age (girls 19 1/2 may apply for future consideration). 5’2” but no more than 5’9,” weight 105 to 135 in proportion to height and have at least 20/40 vision without glasses.”

Over the years Mr. Akana has taken his wife and two children all over the world free, including vacations to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Hong Kong. There were also weekend jaunts to Chicago so the children could try deep-dish pizza.

Read the whole article at the New York Times.

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