Tmac

Seat Belt Exender

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Really, is there anything quite as humiliating as asking for the seat belt extender on an airplane? I'm sure there are worse things, but that's a question I have to ask nearly every week and I think I'd rather wear a scarlet letter.

Hi everyone. I'm Tmac. This is my second post. My first post was to thank Aviator for all the inspiration that his Log Book provided. So, this is my first official, "I'm new here" post.

I live in Ohio, but I travel almost every week. That seat belt extender is something that rips at my soul because it represents so much failure to me.

I'm 41 years old, 5'10", 285lbs. I'm also a stubborn Irish man. I've been pretty successful and blessed in my life. I have a great family, 2 little girls that I adore, a wonderful and supportive wife and I've been very successful in my career and I'm about to launch my own company. In fact, the more successful I get, the fatter I get.

I'm not someone who is accustomed to much failure, so the failure to keep my weight down is a great source of shame and weakness to me. I've been on every diet out there and they all work...for a while. The last effort was NutriSystems and when I failed to maintain my loss, I was at my wits end.

I've already been denied by Aetna, so I'm a self-pay WLS candidate and I'm at the very beginning of my journey. I'm currently scheduling a few surgical consults. I've found a few doctors that I like and I believe the right surgery for me is the VSG. That said, I'm going into my consults with an open mind.

I look forward to learning from folks here at TT and I'll commit to also sharing my story as my journey starts to unfold.

Thanks,

Tmac

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I used to travel 2X a year for work by air and I hated it! I had one person actually look at me and say "no way" and go ask the flight attendent for a new seat. I am not kidding. I got to where i would not ask for a seat belt extender. I would simply tuck the end of the seat belt up under my fat. They couldn't see it so they thought it was buckled. Dangerous perhaps, but my pride refused to ask continuously for the stupid extender. I feel you!

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Welcome to TT...this is the best place to find info and support! Keep us posted on your journey!

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Hi Tmac,

I know that feeling well. Most flight attendants are not very discreet about it either. It is so embarrassing. So much so, in fact, I bought my own extender so I would not have to ask for one. (You can buy them at Livingxl.com) Mine was the style that works for United, American, Northwest, Delta, and Continental. PM me your address if you want it and I will send it to you.

The great news is that you won't need it much longer and you will be able to pass it along to someone else who needs it to save them the embarrassment that you and I know all too well.

-Mike-

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Hi There Tmac and welcome to TT ...

Oh god u just bought back horrid memories ref to : asking for seat belt extenders .. how mortifying :mad:

This summer I dont think I will yeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaa:D

I wish u luck in your journey and why have u been denied ?

Can you not appeal ?

regards

Sara x

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Thanks for nice welcome. White Tiger, Andie and Squishy, you're all very kind and I appreciate the kind words.

Squishy, thanks for the tip on getting my own extender. I feel silly that I didn't even know you could get your own. For as much as I travel, I should have figured that out!

I'm having an interested day today. It's one of those days where you feel like the universe is speaking to you directly through the things you are experiencing. It seems the time is right and I've never felt more empowered to make a change in my life.

I think you guys are going to see me here a lot!

Btw - You guys are all doing awesome. I love reading the "highest weight/weight at surgery/current/ and goal numbers. Even without the stories, there's confidence is seeing others succeed. Keep it up!

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What I did was keep the seatbelt extender I was given to use, and just put it in my carry on for use on future flights. On one of my last flights when I realized I didn't need it, I left it there.

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Hi There Tmac and welcome to TT ...

Oh god u just bought back horrid memories ref to : asking for seat belt extenders .. how mortifying :mad:

This summer I dont think I will yeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaa:D

I wish u luck in your journey and why have u been denied ?

Can you not appeal ?

regards

Sara x

It's funny you should mention appealing the insurance decision. I don't know why I was denied. Aetna told me (over the phone) that they simply don't cover WLS. They partially cover some of the diet plans, like NutriSystems, but not WLS. Many have told me that they always say "no" first and that you have to appeal. So, I just wrote them and asked for why I was denied to be put in writing.

I have found a few sources online about fighting this decision. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks,

Tmac

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What I did was keep the seatbelt extender I was given to use, and just put it in my carry on for use on future flights. On one of my last flights when I realized I didn't need it, I left it there.

LOL. Good suggestion. Sort long term borrowing plan:) Squishy also offered to mail his old one to me. As much as I complain about that embarrassment, I think I might need it. I'm not generally into self-punishment, but I want to make that moment when I don't need an extender to be really meaningful. So, in a weird way, the embarrassment is motivation.

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Welcome, Tmac! It can feel like a long journey from when you make your decision to have surgery to actually getting it, but it is so very worth it! I just had mine last week and am down about 14 pounds overall. I wish you luck on your 'quest' and glad to see you on here.

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Welcome! I have to travel about once a year for work and THIS time it was on a two legged flight. I had to ask for a seat belt extended on the smaller, newer plane - fortunately, the flight attendants were discrete, although I have (in the past) had them give me eye rolls when they hand it over.

I've been surprised by how nice they are at times, but I hate having that control out of my hands.

When I got the seat belt extended (I had lost 50 lbs - the travel was this month), I thought "I'm never going to have to ask for one of these again! This is the last time!"

It was a wonderful feeling.

Good luck on appealing your decision (get that stuff in writing!) and on your surgery. So far for me it has been TOTALLY worth it...

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Welcome, Tmac! It can feel like a long journey from when you make your decision to have surgery to actually getting it, but it is so very worth it! I just had mine last week and am down about 14 pounds overall. I wish you luck on your 'quest' and glad to see you on here.

Thanks, Carrie. I know I'm a ways away, but I've never been so anxious to change my life and get to where I envision myself being. I want the next 40 years to be more active, fun and healthy. Thanks for your warm welcome.

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Welcome! I have to travel about once a year for work and THIS time it was on a two legged flight. I had to ask for a seat belt extended on the smaller, newer plane - fortunately, the flight attendants were discrete, although I have (in the past) had them give me eye rolls when they hand it over.

I've been surprised by how nice they are at times, but I hate having that control out of my hands.

When I got the seat belt extended (I had lost 50 lbs - the travel was this month), I thought "I'm never going to have to ask for one of these again! This is the last time!"

It was a wonderful feeling.

Good luck on appealing your decision (get that stuff in writing!) and on your surgery. So far for me it has been TOTALLY worth it...

Thanks, ragazzarosa. I hope I'll telling a similar story soon! It's nice when flight attendants are discreet. Unfortunately, I haven't had that experience too often. Thanks for the nice welcome.

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Welcome to the forum!

I know that feeling and to simplify it, it sucks... :(

Good luck with your appeal and I look forward to hearing about your journey! :)

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Not to heap on more misery, but how could I loath the seat belt extender any more than the tray table?

I just flew to Germany last week for business and I had to eat with the tray in my lap, which was not fun. I'm headed to Europe again next week and I've decided that I'm packing my own snacks. Airplane food it's healthy, so this way I won't even have to deal with the tray table. Now, if I can just get my clients to pay for biz class:)

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oh yes...the tray table. I try not to eat on planes because I don't want to have to put it down! And forget about working on your laptop!

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Welcome Tmac.

Get a full copy of your medical insurance policy. I had to appeal to Blue cross/ blue shield to the final appeal and then I finally won. It took a while but now I am on the loser's bench and doing well.

Best wishes on your journey. You will find love, friendship and support here.

Deb

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hey Tmac (tarmac?) and welcome to TT!

Lots of helpful information and people around on here, so be sure to ask any and every question since someone is bound to know.

And a big *GROAN* from me about the seat belt extenders. My husband and I are flying next month and I'm so nervous about just even fitting in the seat much less needing an extender that I can't concentrate on the upcoming cruise instead! My husband is also MO, so far we have 2/3 of the planes with 2 seater sides with just us, but i keep hoping and praying that nobody buys the third seat in our row for one of the legs :( I would just feel so horrible if they had to sit there with us :( Horrible horrible feeling. I don't mind however, asking for an extender. I know i'm fat, i obviously look fat... they should just have some handy when you board at the front and take one if you need it, put it back when you deplane. *sigh*

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It's funny you should mention appealing the insurance decision. I don't know why I was denied. Aetna told me (over the phone) that they simply don't cover WLS. They partially cover some of the diet plans, like NutriSystems, but not WLS. Many have told me that they always say "no" first and that you have to appeal. So, I just wrote them and asked for why I was denied to be put in writing.

I have found a few sources online about fighting this decision. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks,

Tmac

Yes hun ensure they put it in writing and at that I would still appeal , u see lots of stories of denial on here .

If I was you I would pm member native4u ! She was denied and denied , she appealed and even hired a bariatric brief , she eventually was approved and she is a lovely lady .

Message her Im sure she will give u some great words of advice .

And god bless squishy >>>>> how sweet was that offer of seat belt ...

There truly are some lovely people on this board ....

Keep us posted T mac ....

Take care and message native4u ...........

Regards

Sara x

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Oh the lap-tray where you pretend you don't want a cup of coffee because you can't balance it safely on the tray.

I am flying to a wedding in two weeks and can't wait to see if the tray goes down as it should.

I wonder how many passengers get a thrill when they buckle up, without an extender and can put that stupid tray down?

If there is one benefit to EX-obesity it will be the secret smiles we get on our faces when we get to do some everyday functions that our weight denied us.I can't imagine ever putting that try down without a sense of absolute relief-even if I do it a zillion times.

There is a Dr Seuss book that should be obligatory for everyone to be familiar with-no matter what age.It is called-"Oh,The Places You'll Go!"Next time you are in a bookstore take a look at it.It deals with disappointments in life and how to bounce back.A kids book but ....

Through these threads we can all see each others pain.We are all united by that pain and our decision to make a stand.The physical pain of the op is nothing compared to our emotional pain.I can identify with the Dr Seuss book and can happily say I am going up the mountain and don't plan on coming down too soon.

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Yes hun ensure they put it in writing and at that I would still appeal , u see lots of stories of denial on here .

If I was you I would pm member native4u ! She was denied and denied , she appealed and even hired a bariatric brief , she eventually was approved and she is a lovely lady .

Message her Im sure she will give u some great words of advice .

And god bless squishy >>>>> how sweet was that offer of seat belt ...

There truly are some lovely people on this board ....

Keep us posted T mac ....

Take care and message native4u ...........

Regards

Sara x

Great advice, sassy. I will definitely PM native4u. And, once again, I'm bowled over by how great you people are. I need more of you in my life!

- Tmac

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Many years ago, when I actually worked for a living, I traveled every other week, sometimes once a week, and they were always coast to coast, or international flights, and yes the fricken seats were the nightmare of our life, I also stole two extenders, there are two different types used on airplanes back then, so I always had my own, but on the other side, flight attendants were taught through sensitivity training to be very discrete when a customer asked for an extender, and I found most of them were very good about it.

Side note, the most humiliating experience was being all pumped for a fishing trip in Montana, and the last connection was ...yes...a fricken commuter plane, you know one to those 30- passenger piece of crap puddle jumpers, I got into the seat, my entire leg was hanging out, when the pilot comes down the isle and announces that the plane was overloaded and tells me that I would have to catch the next plane in the morning!!

I felt like a fricken pile of dust on the floor, got off, went to the counter, asked for the supervisor, explained the situation, and how poorly it was handled by the pilot, I had two business cards from other passengers that witnessed the whole thing, told the supervisor I was gonna have some fun with this one, they didnt believe me at first, I informed them to call the other passengers, and tell them that they were lying, all said and don't, I flew American for the next 6 trips FIRST class for free, figured it cost the airline about 5 grand, which was cheap compared to what I could have got if I were the type to sue....

The pilot was not permitted to write me an apology letter because of some union thing, that was the worst, and the airline would not tell what disciplinary action was taken.

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Great advice, sassy. I will definitely PM native4u. And, once again, I'm bowled over by how great you people are. I need more of you in my life!

- Tmac

Sorry her member name is native2u

apologies but def message her

xx

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Really, is there anything quite as humiliating as asking for the seat belt extender on an airplane? I'm sure there are worse things, but that's a question I have to ask nearly every week and I think I'd rather wear a scarlet letter.

Yes this is very embarrassing, this rates right up there with the "not fitting on the roller coaster" scenario.

Hey some day real soon you won't need to worry about that any more!

Welcome to TT and good luck on your journey!

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I spent 12 months flying every week for work. I learned to pick certain carriers and certain plan models for the best chance of being comfortable. Southwest was usually the best and at 350lb, I did not need an extender. For other carriers, I had my own extender to bring along. I sometimes would fly out of my way with connections or fly at weird times to get a more comfortable flight.

Now most my work is within 150 miles of home and I drive, but sometimes i still have to fly. I had 10 weeks of work last fall in Tucson and had to fly.

I'm ready for those days to be gone!

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