There are several types of seat belt extenders, both for vehicles and airplanes. Do you know if you need one? And, if so, what type or size you need?
Depending on your body shape, you may need a seat belt extender for vehicle or airline travel. Standard length seat belts are designed for the traveler who weighs up to about 215 pounds. If you weigh more than 215 pounds or if you carry your weight around your hips and stomach, you are probably a good candidate for a seat belt extender.
Types of Seat Belt Extenders
Choose your seat belt extender based on the type of transportation that you plan to use most often – vehicles vs. airplanes.
Vehicle Seat Belt Extenders
There are two types of extenders designed for vehicles:
- Extended length of webbing straps – Straps of seat belt webbing with a clasp on each end that you attach to the existing seat belt.
- Stick-like – An 8-10″ stick-like device that you click into the stationary end of your car’s seat belt bracket.
Your car or truck dealer is an excellent source for vehicle seat belt extenders. They can make sure that the extender you select is designed to fit in your particular car. Some dealers will provide an extender for the driver at no cost. Check with your dealer for the cost and availability of an extender for your car.
Car part dealers and online retailers such as Amazon also offer car seat belt extenders.
Airplane Seat Belt Extenders
Seat belt extenders for airplanes are a length of seat belt webbing with a clasp on each end. You attach the seat belt extender to one side of the existing seat belt. A flight attendant uses a seat belt extender to show passengers how to buckle your seat belt and then provides the extender to passengers.
There are three basic styles of airplane seat belt extenders:
- Style A – This style has a square metal tongue and fits most of the jets flying domestically and internationally as well as many of the smaller jets and prop planes. This style is used on American, United, US Air, TWA, Northwest, Delta, Continental, Jet Blue, Alaska, British Airways and Air Canada. Consider this style if you want to purchase only one style of extender for your airline travel.
- Style B – This style also has a square metal tongue but it is uniquely designed to fit most of the smaller and prop planes.
- Southwest, Qantas and Lufthansa Airlines – These airlines have a unique style of seat belt clasp. Style A or B extenders will not work with the seat belts on the planes of these three airlines. You will need to request a seat belt extender from the flight attendant.
An airline seat belt extender is typically 24-25″ in length. You can adjust the extender to lengthen a few inches or up to the full length of the extender.
There are many online sources for seat belt extenders including Amazon. When selecting your retailer, make sure that the seat belt meets or exceeds federal standards and, in the case of airplane extenders, that they are FAA approved.