A French family has been stranded in Chicago for about a week after British Airways deemed a man too fat to fly.
Kevin Chenais, 22, a resident of France, reportedly tips the scales at more than 500 pounds, and that's too much for British Airways to handle.
A British Airways spokesperson confirmed the airline was unable to let Chenais on a flight from Chicago to France because of safety issues.
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“Our customer service team worked diligently to find a solution and have exhausted all options,” the airline said in a statement. “Unfortunately it is not possible to safely accommodate the customer on any of our aircraft and the family has been offered a full refund.”
Chenais traveled to the United States about a year and a half ago for treatment of a hormone disorder at the Mayo Clinic. He put on weight during his stay in the U.S.
When Chenais and his family were ready to leave, British Airways told them the bad news. Chenais and his family have been staying at an airport hotel for about a week, according to reports.
British Airways said they remained in regular contact with the family to discuss other options and provided hotel accommodation and food throughout the incident. They also offered the family a full refund.
Airline spokeswoman Caroline Titmuss said the decision on whether a person can fly is made on a case-by-case basis and said they ask that passengers contact British Airways to discuss their specific concerns.
“We treat all customers fairly and, where possible, we do not restrict seating options,” she said in an email. “Decisions are based on whether we can safely transport someone -- that is our top priority.”
The Chenais family said they will now take a train to New York City and will board a Queen Mary cruise ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean back to France, according to reports.
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