Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Too fat to fly' man finds way to get home

Kevin Chenais
Kevin Chenais

Danica Kirka

He's been turned down by planes, trains and even a cruise ship in his quest to return home – and his family says it's because he has been deemed too fat to travel.

Now Frenchman Kevin Chenais' long journey is coming to an end.

Mr Chenais, who weighs 500 pounds, says he has been repeatedly refused transport over the past two weeks as he sought to get home to France from the US.

P&O Ferries finally offered to take him in an ambulance across the English Channel yesterday, the final hurdle keeping him from his home near the Swiss border.

"It's terrible. It's discrimination," the 22-year-old said.

Mr Chenais' mother was outraged by the treatment her son allegedly received, saying he was discriminated against because of his weight.

"It's not the fault of my son to be big. He has a genetic illness," Christina Chenais said.

The odyssey began when British Airways refused to honour his return ticket from the US, where he spent months receiving medical care for a hormone imbalance.

Mr Chenais said Carnival Cruises also rejected his request for a cabin on a trans-Atlantic voyage.

Virgin Atlantic airlines stepped in to fly him to London, he said.

From London, Mr Chenais had planned to take the Eurostar train home. But Eurostar refused to allow him on board because of safety rules governing travel through the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar paid for the family's hotel room and worked with P&O to find a solution.

Irish Independent

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