230kg passenger deemed too fat to fly left stranded

  Kevin Chenais arrives at Penn Station in New York on Tuesday. The family were stranded after British Airways determined their son was too overweight to fly.  Picture: Timothy Clary

A Frenchman who weighs 230kg and was deemed too heavy to fly on a jet has arrived in New York to head home by ship.

Kevin Chenais, 22, and his parents arrived at Penn Station in New York by train from Chicago. They will stay at a hotel in Brooklyn until they catch the Queen Mary 2 for England.

Chenais, 22, has a hormone imbalance and came to the US from France in 2012 for obesity treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Chicago.

He had planned to fly home last month but British Airways refused to let him on board on the grounds he was too fat.

The family spent more than a week at a hotel near Chicago airport as they tried to resolve the situation.

On Monday, they decided to take a train to New York, from where they will sail for England on Nov 19.

“It is mainly my parents who are angry,” said Chenais after the 19-hour train trip from Chicago.

His father, Rene, criticised British Airways for paying for just five nights in a hotel, where in the end they spent 13 days. He said the carrier has yet to refund their tickets.

An airline spokesman said the carrier tried to find a solution but it was not possible to tend to Chenais safely.

His father said that two or three days after British Airways refused to let him fly, their travel agent said Air France and Swissair were willing to take him. But the family was out of money.

“We paid $1,200 [€890] for the train and then $2,000 for the ship. We cannot pay any more,” he said.

Chenais Sr added that he was considering legal

action against British Airways.

A doctor will examine Chenais in the coming days, the father said.


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