Flight attendant, 83, says ‘Aloha’

HONOLULU – A flight attendant is landing in the Guinness World Records book after spending 63 years moving about the cabin.

Ron Akana, 83, worked his last route over the weekend on a United Airlines flight from Denver to Kauai, ending his career in the state where it began.

Hawaii, however, wasn’t his final stop. His destination was retirement in Boulder, Colo., where he has been living since 2002 to be closer to his grandchildren. He spent his first few days of retirement writing thank-you notes to well-wishers.

Akana joined the airline while a student at the University of Hawaii in 1949, when friends spotted a newspaper ad. “We didn’t even know what a flight steward was,” he recalled. “But it meant getting to the mainland, which was a huge deal in those days.”

And so he became one of United’s first male flight attendants. “We just liked working with girls,” he said.

Akana decided to retire after he was offered a buyout.

While he’s now retired, Akana is not done flying. From now on, his wife will be joining him.

“I got terrific travel privileges,” he said, adding: “There’s a lot to be seen.”


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