Seatbelt size, nasty fa, oh my

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Old May 23, 11, 7:04 pm
#1
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Thumbs down Seatbelt size, nasty fa, oh my

First off, new to this forum so if I've posted in the wrong place, smack me down and let me know where I should put this post.

I've been traveling by plane for years - and I mean years. Almost a million miler on Delta, was a million miler on Eastern (remember them) and usually try to be the proper passenger, obeying all the rules and being nice to FA's because you just never know.

Traveling lately is a lot less fun especially with TSA and their new strip searching but that's another post. The trip I just did yesterday is the reason for this post and query.

First off, I am not a tiny person but I'm not huge either so I've never and I mean never needed an extender for a seatbelt. IN fact usually there is at least 2 inches showing that can be used to extend the belt further.

I always fly exit rows because as a frequent flyer they show up as a choice on Delta. This was an MD90 that looked a little older in the tooth than it should have. The seat I was in looked like it had been repaired - in fact I'm pretty sure it was and the tray table also was broken - one side was bent. Who knows what happened. But here's the thing that was disturbing. The seatbelt wouldn't come close to closing. I later measured it because of what transpired and it was about 32 inches. I checked and found out that seatbelts on Delta planes average between 35 and 38 inches.

I asked the FA for an extender because it was obvious the seatbelt had been shorted, probably when the seat was repaired. That's when things got interesting. She told me all seatbelts were the same and the problem was me and I had to move because the rules said no extensions on an exit row. Turns out only Delta has this rule - so it's not FAA as she and the sign in the seat said. I have long legs and the MD90 is already cramped so I sucked it in and made that darn belt fit. This was a 4 hour flight. Wow, that was horrible.

But the rest of the flight, that darn FA kept coming by and checking to see if I had the belt connected. At this point, I'm no longer having a good time. And that's what I thought I'd ask this forum. What would you have done. I didn't want to move - the seat was not right - and I now kind of have an understanding of what the more overweight people deal with when asking for seat extenders. The FA's really don't like it. I've been seeing quite a few articles about this very topic and was stunned to be impacted by the issue - and it wasn't by me - but by a bad seat belt.

I don't blame the FA's for being testy because of the really stupid baggage charges that have made every Delta flight I am on leave late while bags are checked. But this particular flight seemed to be made up of really really grumpy FA's. Do we as fliers have rights? I've heard of people being removed from flights for fighting back. Do we have to start taking trains which have their own issues? Inquiring minds want to know. What would you do? And thanks for listening and this forum.
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Old May 23, 11, 9:38 pm
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As a big fat guy, I find I need an extender more than not on Delta's aircraft from prior to the merger. On former Northwest aircraft, it is usually not the case. I don't know why it is different, but it is...
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Old May 23, 11, 10:40 pm
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As this seems specific to Delta and its aircraft and seating, I'll move this to the Delta SkyMiles forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old May 23, 11, 10:50 pm
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There is a CR2 that flies MSP-LEX-MSP or LEX-MSP-LEX, if you prefer, that has a seatbelt in 2A that literally will extend into the aisle. I don't know if this is the designated super fat person seat(s) but you could easily put a quarter ton person in both 2A and 2B and he could be belted in from A to B. I've sat in that seat at least a half dozen times and I always get a chuckle out of it.
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Old May 23, 11, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by used2like2fly View Post
Turns out only Delta has this rule - so it's not FAA as she and the sign in the seat said.
You are misinformed. It is not a rule unique to Delta. Delta also asks four qualifying questions when selecting an exit row seat online, one of which relates to extension use.

Southwest: http://southwest.com/html/travel...ency-exit.html

Alaska: http://alaskaair.com/content/tra...s-of-size.aspx

AirTran: http://airtran.com/help_seat_assignments.aspx
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Old May 23, 11, 11:18 pm
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I don't pay to be mistreated. I would send in a complaint.
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Old May 24, 11, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by used2like2fly View Post
I checked and found out that seatbelts on Delta planes average between 35 and 38 inches.
I wear 35 or 36in waist on most pants and have never been anywhere close to needing a seat belt extension and I've flown every DL craft (along with virtually every sub-variant) with the exception of the Saab prop.
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Old May 24, 11, 1:07 am
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First the aside....I TOTALLY know what you mean about some of the CRJ-200's having SUPER long seat belts...it is ironic since they have such small seats!

O.K. back on topic...

As others have pointed out...the rule is that exit row seats can NOT have seatbelt extenders...the logic being that in an evacuation the extra length of belt could get tangled and in the way of people trying to evacuate...

For how to handle the situation...it is tough because there isn't really a point in arguing/debating with the crew.....

Really your two choices were...moved seats..or wear the seatbelt for take off and landing and leave it unbelted as much as you could during the flight...

Seat belt length various A LOT, not just from one type of aircraft to another...but within aircraft types...the Delta 757-200s they got from TWO have SUPER small seat belts....

Some 757-200 from NWA have SHORTER seatbelts in FC than in coach....
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Old May 24, 11, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by Burj
First the aside....I TOTALLY know what you mean about some of the CRJ-200's having SUPER long seat belts...it is ironic since they have such small seats!

O.K. back on topic...

As others have pointed out...the rule is that exit row seats can NOT have seatbelt extenders...the logic being that in an evacuation the extra length of belt could get tangled and in the way of people trying to evacuate...

For how to handle the situation...it is tough because there isn't really a point in arguing/debating with the crew.....

Really your two choices were...moved seats..or wear the seatbelt for take off and landing and leave it unbelted as much as you could during the flight...

Seat belt length various A LOT, not just from one type of aircraft to another...but within aircraft types...the Delta 757-200s they got from TWO have SUPER small seat belts....

Some 757-200 from NWA have SHORTER seatbelts in FC than in coach....
I am usually fine with seatbelts, but yes the F seat in the 752 was a bit snug
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Old May 24, 11, 7:51 am
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I've noticed some huge variances in seatbelt length across the fleet, and even seat to seat in the same plane. I usually have several inches of room on the seatbelt, however in some seats I have a TON left, and others I use up the entire thing. Does maintenance cut the seatbelt and reattach it when doing a repair instead of replacing, so it ends up shorter than normal? I'd swear some of them are either abnormally long or abnormally short.
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Old May 24, 11, 7:56 am
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As a big guy myself, I know exactly which planes I need extenders on (e.g. 738s, 752s with PTVs, MDxx) and which ones I don't (e.g. A319, A320, old-school 752s), and book exit row or not accordingly. What I'm curious about is how you where you able to measure the seat belt in the MD90 exit row to know it was 32"--did you have a tape measure with you?
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Old May 24, 11, 8:15 am
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Regardless of the size of the seatbelt, it didn't fit and extenders are not allowed in the exit row. This is on all flights, DL or not. She was doing her job.
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Old May 24, 11, 8:30 am
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I've been traveling by plane for years - and I mean years. Almost a million miler on Delta, was a million miler on Eastern (remember them) and usually try to be the proper passenger, obeying all the rules and being nice to FA's because you just never know.


bit OT but I hope you transferred your million mile status to CO
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Old May 24, 11, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by hockeystl View Post
I wear 35 or 36in waist on most pants and have never been anywhere close to needing a seat belt extension and I've flown every DL craft (along with virtually every sub-variant) with the exception of the Saab prop.
But unlike your belt, the seatbelt does not go all the way around your waist. Try taking off your belt and then holding the ends on your sides like a seatbelt. 35" to 38" sounds about right (I can't say I've ever thought to measure though).
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Old May 24, 11, 8:40 am
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Most large FF who I've seen keep an extended belt in their briefcase so they don't need to ask for one.
In that case, I guess the FA wouldn't know if you were using one in the exit row.
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