Elke Etha Kuhne

Elke Kuhne

Flight  Attendant – Age 43

Hanover, Germany – German Citizen

Elke’s elegance and style created more than just a favorable impression, but reflected her entire attitude toward working with and serving others. She was well known for her affectionate character and unique wit which won her many friends as well as respect. Everyone knew her as someone they could rely on and trust. She spoke flawless English with a slight German accent and usually smoked cigarettes with a long cigarette holder. To all who came in contact with her, Elke truly represented the hallmark of professionalism. Her numerous letters and words of commendation from passengers were well earned. One passenger wrote, “It is only a person of such high caliber as Elke Kuhne that makes the cost of flying worthwhile.” Elke began her career with Pan Am in 1970 and was based in Washington and New York before joining the London base in 1976. She was single and is survived by her parents, Dr. Lothar and Ruther Kuhne, and two brothers, Ulfar and Rainer.


Ann Price:  I’d been out to dinner with a friend. When we got back to my flat- my answering machine was full which was odd. I rewound it. The first message was from my father- I will never forget his voice- then with each message it got worse. Elke Kuhne had spent the previous Christmas eve with me in my flat at one of the most special evenings for all who were there.

The next morning I went to the airport. Pan Am wasn’t equipped to handle what had happened. Some of us answered phones and gave out a number to call to people who were “searching” for their loved ones. Hank Auerbach was right there with us. We were like robots in shock.

I went to my mailbox before heading home and grabbed my mail and headed for the tube. My heart hurt. I would be flying out on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas with my girlfriend in Miami. When I got on the train I opened a Christmas card. It said, “Dearest Ann, Let’s live it up in ’89! Love Elke.”  I crumbled on the train. A complete stranger- helped me.

I recently ran into someone who knew Nieves as I was voting in November. Their sweet faces never fade from any of our memories. They never ever will.


One thought on “

Elke Etha Kuhne

  1. Elke was such an inspiration to me as was Sieve Engstom. I still miss them very much. Many amazing people lost their life on this flight. Very sad.

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