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I was on a Delta flight in Business class on a 777 and during flight the motor of the seat caused the seat belt buckle to pop off the end of the seat belt causing the seat belt to be inoperable.

This was a completely full flight and the flight attendants were unable to fix the seat belt. I ended up just tying the two ends of the seat belt together for landing and the crew found that acceptable.

What should the proper procedure be in this case?

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  • $\begingroup$ You are quite a risk taker. What if there was an emergency evacuation upon arrival? How fast could you undo that knot? Were there no empty seats on the airplane? $\endgroup$ – Mike Brass Feb 7 '18 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, this was not ideal but when I realized the buckle was gone we were already on final approach and there wasn't a single seat available according to the crew. That's why I'm wondering what the crew should have done in this case. $\endgroup$ – Justin M Feb 7 '18 at 6:43
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    $\begingroup$ I find it interesting that they didn't have any spare seat belts available. We used to carry spares in case of breakage, but this was back in the 1990s and there weren't any power seats, at least not on the 747s I flew. $\endgroup$ – Terry Feb 7 '18 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ Re the close votes: I think this question is on-topic here. Surely it is on the passenger side of things, but it is about aviation regulation, safety and evacuation procedures etc. $\endgroup$ – kevin Feb 7 '18 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ If there is an answer to this, it's probably in Delta's crew manuals, I don't think there's any regulation or FAA guidance that's specific enough to address it. Perhaps you're really asking "why didn't a crew member give up their seat to keep a passenger safe?"? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Feb 7 '18 at 15:27
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The flight crew should have given you a seatbelt extension to fix the connection. And if that did not work, then you should have been instructed to hold on and ask other passengers to hold you down for landing. Also, if you were wondering why the flight attendant did not move you to an empty the jump seat, is because FAA regulations don’t permit.

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    $\begingroup$ Don't seat belt extensions work by attaching to the fixed seat belt? If the buckle is no longer attached to the belt, there wouldn't be anything to fit the extension onto. $\endgroup$ – Zach Lipton Feb 27 '18 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ That's correct a seat belt extender would not work in this case since the buckle was completely missing. $\endgroup$ – Justin M Feb 28 '18 at 0:24
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You wrote in a comment:

I agree, this was not ideal but when I realized the buckle was gone we were already on final approach and there wasn't a single seat available according to the crew. That's why I'm wondering what the crew should have done in this case.

I suspect they could have put you in a crew jump seat in the back of the plane, there's almost always one un-occupied.

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    $\begingroup$ You might be right, but this doesn't seem to answer the question about whether there's an official procedure for use in this situation. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Feb 15 '18 at 21:06

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