British Airways – “You’re Too Fat to Fly”

British Airways has told a French family that their son is too fat to fly home from Chicago (ORD) to France via London (LHR), even after they allowed him to fly from Europe to the US. The family has now decided that their only option is to take the train to New York followed by the Queen Mary cruise ship across the Atlantic! The AFP has the full story:

Kevin Chenais, 22, spent a year and a half at the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a hormone disorder which led him to weigh 500 pounds. “We blame British Airways because now they just leave us, and they brought us here,” Christina Chenais told the station. “If they could bring him here with that problem in economy, there was a way to take him back by economy but just get him back home for his medical treatments to continue.” The family spent a week in an airport hotel trying to resolve the matter and, running out of money, has decided their only option is to take a train to New York and cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary cruise ship.

A British Airways spokesperson told AFP that its customer service team “worked diligently to find a solution.” “Unfortunately, it is not possible to safely accommodate the customer on any of our aircraft and the family has been offered a full refund.” The airline said it provided hotel accommodation for the family along with “guidance and support” to help explore other travel options. A spokeswoman for the French consulate told AFP it “attempted a mediation with British Airways, but the position of the airline is firm on the security issue.”

Full story at the AFP.

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  1. OK, I’m not saying that this is necessarily the airline’s fault as I don’t know the safety regulations (although I can imagine he can’t fly if he can’t fit into the seat), but there seriously wasn’t a single business class seat in several days in to which he should be able to fit?

  2. “Security” is the buzz word to justify any and all nonsense.

    Shame on BA. If they could fly him there, they can fly him back.

    “the family has been offered a full refund.” My cup runneth over. Disgusting.

  3. I understand airlines need to follow safety rules etc BUT the fact they flew him there to begin with and now saying they can’t fly him home? I would be beyond pissed if this happened to my child. Like the family doesn’t have enough worry with a sick kid…then the airlines pulls this? I am telling ya….airlines these days are taking away this n that…including their brains heh.
    Airfares havent changed that much over the past few yrs but they continue to cut things. Sucks!

  4. I’m surprised their only option was via cruise ship. There wasn’t any other airline willing to let him fly on their planes?

  5. According to the article, there was 18 months between the flight to the US and the return, during which the kid gained enough weight to hit 500 pounds. I don’t know but even blocking out two economy seats or one fancy one up front might not accommodate 500 pounds on any airline. It sucks, but a refund may be all they can do.

  6. Did anyone see this part

    “Kevin Chenais requires round-the-clock oxygen and medical attention.”

    500 lbs, round the clock O2 and medical attention? He’s barely fit enough to ride in an ambulance….


  7. I am really not a BA fan, (mainly due to the BA dragons at the lounges), but here I am siding with BA.
    This is not an unreasonable position. It sucks for both sides, but in the end, the passenger weighs 3 times as much as he should. Don’t blame BA for your failed medical treatment.
    Enjoy the cruise and stop whining

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