What model seat belt extender should I buy?

Discussion in 'SeatExpert' started by @SeatExpert, Jan 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. @SeatExpert

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    One of the most frequently asked questions sent in to us is some variation of the following:
    “I’d like to purchase a seat belt extender but XYZ airline isn’t able to tell me what model will work with their seat belts. Which type of seat belt extender should I buy?”​
    If we didn’t know better we’d think customer service representatives who work the phones for most airlines have all taken some sort of solemn oath and pledged that, under no circumstances, will they reveal the type of seat belt extender that would fit their equipment. That line of the oath probably comes immediately after the part where they all pledge never to allow a customer to be placed on hold for less than 15 minutes.
    Nope. The best you will usually get is an, “Oh, don’t worry, we’ll have seat belt extenders on the plane.”
    And they very well might. Then again, they might not. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to have to ask for a seat belt extender once you are on the plane. Maybe it’s embarrassing to you. Or perhaps you don’t want to draw unwanted attention from the flight crew, who just might decide you need to purchase an additional seat.
    Allow us to help where the airlines often do not.
    There are generally four types of airline seat belts – Models A, B, C and D (there is actually a fifth model, E, but it is used only on small Cessna’s and therefore of no interest/use to those of us who are flying commercial). Following is a brief description of each type:
    Model A – This is the type used on most major aircraft.
    Model B – These seat belts are used on Southwest Airlines and an assortment of business jets, and that’s about it.
    Model C – Alaska Airlines uses this type of seat belt (though you might see a Model A on some their aircraft), and you will find model C seat belts on some older aircraft and commuter aircraft.
    Model D – Used primarily on Cessna’s and Gulfstreams, as well as some commuter aircraft.
    With that in mind, if you are only going to buy one seat belt extender, get yourself a Model A. It is by far the most popular aircraft seat belt type and will cover your needs on most flights. Unless, of course, you primarly fly Southwest Airlines – then the Model B is the one to get.
    But, and it’s a big but, if you travel frequently you should really shell out for one of each of Model A, B and C.
    With those three seat belt extenders, you will be covered on the vast majority of your flights. If you absolutely positively know you won’t be flying Southwest, then you can skip Model B. But if there is any chance you will be taking a Southwest flight at some point in the not-too-distant future, you should splurge and buy the Model B as well.
    While one seat belt extender might run between $50-75, they are often sold in bundles at a discounted rate. Look around and you can probably find a bundle including a Model A, B and C extender for around $130-150.
    If you fly a lot and appreciate the comfort, convenience, and privacy having your own seat belt extender affords, it’s money well spent.
    And just think of the time you’ll save no longer waiting on hold, or vainly attempting to extract information from a rep well trained in the art of customer deflection.


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    exfallsburg and Cholula like this.
  2. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Interesting topic, I don't need one but have been on flights where the FAs were fretting they didn't have enough extenders for everyone that needed/wanted one! I've also seen people embarassed by having to ask for the extender. BYOE does make sense for those that fly and need one
     
  3. Cholula
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    Nice sorta pun. [​IMG]
     
  4. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Totally unintentional, I assure you!
     
  5. Mundivaganti
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    Mundivaganti Silver Member

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    Just a thought: Several years ago I purchased a Type A on Ebay, used, for around $20. I have never regretted the purchase because I often find having the extender means I can have relief from a snug seatbelt by using my extender. The belt I purchased is a pleasant green color, and it does not match any airline color scheme that I have flown so far. It means that the FA certainly see that I am using an extender, and no one will assume I'm stealing it when I pack it up. On the other hand, it is not discreet -- so if you are hoping to not have your extender noticed pick a color like navy blue or black.
     

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