A 22-year-old was left stranded in the Chicago airport this week when British Airways decided he was too fat to fly home. Kevin Chenais is 500 pounds, and he was only in the Midwest to visit a clinic for his hormone disorder. But why he's there doesn't really matter, does it? It's how he got there.
Because here's the thing: Kevin Chenais flew to the United States from France. On a British Airways flight.
And according to his parents, he was just as big on the trip here.
Only now the airline says they can't send him home, releasing the follow statement to the media:
The British Airways team worked tirelessly to try and find a solution for the family but unfortunately we cannot safely accommodate the customer on any of our aircraft.
Funny, it seems they could safely accommodate him the first time around. The airline won't comment on whether they offered Chenais the chance to buy a second seat to accommodate his girth, but this case once again brings up the biggest problem with airlines and the folks who are being deemed "too fat to fly."
The rules are few and far between, and they're applied willy nilly.
Remember Kevin Smith, the movie director kicked off a Southwest flight because he couldn't comfortably fit in a seat? As he was being thrown off, he mentioned noting a "fellow fatty" (his words) who was bigger than him and allowed to stay on the flight.
Then there was Kenlie Tiggeman, the overweight passenger told she was too big for a Southwest flight who was given travel vouchers by the airline. Ahem, she's too big for your supposed airline restrictions, so the answer is to tell her she can take a later flight ... on your airline? Talk about your mixed messages!
That's what Kevin Chenais has gotten too. He wasn't too big when he flew in, but he's too big now? At around the same weight, and with the same health restrictions (he requires oxygen)?
Whether you think folks who are on the larger side should be required to buy two seats or grounded permanently or whatever it is you really feel about the obese, the fact remains that airlines need to make up their minds about how they want to deal with them, and then stick to their darn story. No more back and forth!
Have you ever had trouble getting on a flight? What happened?
Image via angeloangelo/Flickr