A French family traveled to the United States for their son’s medical treatment, yet when they were ready to return home, British Airways determined their son was too fat to fly.
Kevin Chenais, 22, was diagnosed with a hormone disorder that caused him to gain weight rapidly, tipping the scales at 500 pounds. He spent a year and a half at the Mayo Clinic for treatment.
British Airways representative Caroline Titmuss said, “We will always try to accommodate someone if it’s possible and safe to do so. 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 family was stranded in Chicago for a week, staying in a hotel.
Chenais’s mother, Christina, stated, “We blame British Airways because now they just leave us, and they brought us here. 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.”
Kevin Chenais requires round-the-clock oxygen and medical attention, yet even with those obstacles the family decided their only option was to take a train to New York and cross the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary.
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.”
It has provided the family with the names of two lawyers who may be able to help.
Does this strengthen or weaken your perception of British Airways? Why? Would this affect your airline choice when flying?