Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 03/12/2013

‘Too fat to fly’ man now rejected by Eurostar train


French Kevin Chenais, who was deemed too fat to fly, exits Heathrow Airport upon arrival on a plane from New York to London. Chenais has now been rejected by the Eurostar train in an attempt to get back to France.French Kevin Chenais, who was deemed too fat to fly, exits Heathrow Airport upon arrival on a plane from New York to London. Chenais has now been rejected by the Eurostar train in an attempt to get back to France.

A clinically obese French man stranded in the United States because he was deemed too heavy to fly finally took a plane to Britain – only to be refused travel home by the Eurostar cross-channel train.

Kevin Chenais, 22, who weighs 230kg, arrived at London’s Heathrow airport on Tuesday with his parents after Virgin Atlantic agreed to fly him back from New York.

He had been in the US since May 2012 for treatment for a hormone imbalance and had been set to return home on British Airways last month, but the airline refused to accept him as a passenger, saying he was too heavy.

The family subsequently tried to sail across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, but the cruise ship’s owners also refused to have him on board.

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After arriving at Heathrow, a visibly exhausted Chenais described the ordeal to return home as “terrible, terrible, terrible”.

“The flight was really hard,” he said as he sat on his mobility scooter at the airport.

“I didn’t stop crying for the whole flight.”

Chenais, who was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes, praised Virgin for flying him out from New York’s JFK airport and paying for the economy-class flights for him and his parents.

“That was very kind of them,” he said, “but I was very uncomfortable – I have a lot of problems with the skin on my thighs and the seat was small.”

Chenais and his parents were met at Heathrow by French consular staff who arranged for them to try for a Paris-bound Eurostar train later on Tuesday.

But Eurostar then said that he had been refused travel because of its regulations for evacuation procedures.

“His weight meant that we would not be able to take care of this person or be able to carry him to evacuate him,” a Eurostar spokeswoman said.

She said Eurostar did not have any specific weight limit, but each train has two places for disabled or limited mobility people and the train’s staff had to be capable of getting each of those people out in case of emergency.

Chenais was staying at a hotel near the Eurostar terminal at London’s St Pancras station while the firm looked for other options including cross-channel ferries and taxis, the spokeswoman said.

The family’s eventual destination is their home town of Ferney-Voltaire near the Swiss border.

Chenais, who requires frequent oxygen and regular care, had earlier expressed his anger at British Airways and the Queen Mary 2’s owners Carnival for refusing to take him home.

“We were all set to take the boat, then they turned us back without even seeing me, without even trying,” he said.

Source: The Sidney Morning Herald


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