A 500 pound Frenchman's travel odyssey is nearly over, after he spent two weeks stranded in Chicago when the airline that flew him there refused to fly him back.
Kevin Chenais, 22, unwillingly found himself in the worst remake of Plains, Trains and Automobiles ever when his flight from Chicago to France was denied by British Airways two weeks ago. The airline, which had no problem flying Chenais to the US in 2012 (he was here seeking treatment for the hormone imbalance that caused his obesity in the first place), suddenly decided that he was too heavy to honor his return ticket.
Chenais and his parents were permitted on board a train to New York City, where they planned to sail home on the Queen Mary 2. That's when the ship, which is bigger than the Titanic, weighs over 76,000 tons and boasts a planetarium, refused to let him on board for "health and safety reasons," the Daily Mail reported. (According to the AP, Carnival "Poop" Cruises also denied Chenais.)
Finally, Virgin Atlantic flew all three of them to London free of charge (amazingly, the plane didn't fall out of the sky or anything, so I guess Chenais was safe for air travel after all!), a flight Chenais told the AFP he spent the entirety of crying.
When they got to London on Tuesday, the plan was to take the Eurostar to Paris. But the Eurostar said no to that, telling the AFP: "His weight meant that we would not be able to take care of this person or be able to carry him to evacuate him."
But Eurostar did British Airways and the Queen Mary 2 one better, arranging and paying for a ferry to transport Chenais across the English Channel as well as an ambulance to take Chenais from London to the port of Dover and then from Calais to his home in Ferney Voltaire.
According to ITV, the ferry company had no problem whatsoever accepting Chenais as a passenger, saying: "We're delighted to help. It's not difficult for us ... It's very straightforward as we are set up to carry people who have medical needs."
Unlike the Queen Mary 2, which has five swimming pools, a 3D cinema, kennels and a nursery.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.