French Family Stranded in US by British Airways

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by MSYgirl, Nov 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    (CBS) — They came to the United States for medical treatment for their son, but a French family is now stranded in Chicago because the airline that brought them here won’t take them back.

    CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley has the story of this foreign family’s travel troubles.

    22-year-old Kevin Chenais weighs 500 pounds and spent a year-and-a-half at the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a hormone disorder.

    He was supposed to fly home to France on British Airways, but for seven days, he and his family have been stranded in Chicago.

    “We blame British Airways because now they just leave us, and they brought us here,” said Christina Chenais, Kevin’s mother.

    When it was time to go back, British Airways essentially decided, Kevin was too large to fit on board.

    More here.
     
  2. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Why is he stranded? Is British Airways the only airline that flies between Chicago and France?

    Or is it that every airline is refusing to carry him?
     
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  3. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    I'd suspect the family expects that if they flew here to the US on BA and still have BA return tickets they shouldn't have to buy a new ticket on another airline for their son.
     
  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I'm not sure I understand though... if he made it here in BA, how do they now apparently have no aircraft that can accomodate him?
     
  5. evanderm

    evanderm Silver Member

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    There has to be more to this story. He's been in the US for a year and a half if I read correctly especially with hormone disorders there is a lot that can change in one's physiology in that period. There's also mention of therapeutic oxygen and other medical needs that may not have been present or required for the outbound journey but we don't have enough information from this article. I hope a solution is found, but it would seem the airline is trying to accommodate the family. I'm curious to find out whether or not another airline will eventually carry him?

    The article concludes by saying that the family is taking the TRAIN to the coast and then boarding a SHIP. That, to me would imply that the gentleman is unfit to fly and this is not just a case of BA refusing him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  6. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    If he's been in the US for a year and a half then he won't have a return portion of a ticket as I don't think you can extend the validity beyond a year of outbound travel.

    evanderms explanation is nearer the truth than the CBS version which seems to have omitted some facts to make the story more Hollywoodesque.
     
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  7. mrx900
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    mrx900 Silver Member

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    I'd just fly another carrier...the fuel surcharges are outrageous anyways!
     
  8. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Problem is no other carrier was prepared to fly him.

    What on earth has fuel surcharges got to do with it? Or are you just trolling?
     
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  9. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    As an update, the man was denied by BA, then Virgin Atlantic agreed to fly him home. He was denied by BA, Carnival Cruise Lines and later the Eurostar train service refused to transport him home to France. He reportedly took a ferry and is now home.

    [article]

    The international media is abuzz over the plight of a young man suffering from obesity who has been refused transportation by planes, trains and even a cruise ship in his efforts to return from the United States to his home country of France. His family claims that he was discriminated against because of his weight (500 lbs) and deemed "too fat to travel."

    In an article entitled "Too Fat to Travel? Man Rejected by Plane, Train and Cruise Ship," the Associated Press writes about Kevin Chenais, age 22, who is under medical treatment due to a hormonal imbalance.

    He was in the U.S. undergoing medical treatment, and ran into a wall of resistance when he tried to return home.

    British Airways first considered him too heavy to fly. Then Carnival Corporation, the owner of the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship, refused to transport him across the Atlantic.

    Virgin Atlantic stepped up to the plate and flew the young man to the United Kingdom. But the Eurostar under-sea train service refused to transport him to France, according to press reports.

    The train company said that Mr. Chenais posed a safety risk "to himself, our crew and all of the other passengers on board."

    With the involvement of French consular staff, Mr. Chenais was transported by ambulance to Dover where he caught a ferry with the P&O Ferries company. A ferry representative said: "It's difficult to imagine the frustration that this gentleman has gone through. But for us, it's very straightforward as we are set up to carry people who have medical needs."

    According to Mr. Chenais, Carnival, which rejected his request for a cabin on the trans-Atlantic voyage from the U.S., "declined to comment."

    Should cruise lines, air carriers and trains be required to accommodate obese passengers under these circumstances?
     
  10. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    The spotlight should really be on Virgin and its reasons for concluding that it was safe to carry him. I think we can safely take it as probable that no other airline would carry him. Routing via London was, after all, fraught with difficulty - as the Eurostar episode subsequently proved. If other airlines would have readily carried him, it would have been far easier for him to fly to GVA to get home. Branson and VS wouldn't compromise safety for some publicity, now would they?
     
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