Frenchman denied travel because of size

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Nov 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/20/3766525/frenchman-denied-travel-because.html

    Eurostar says it has refused travel on its train to a Frenchman who was earlier stranded in the United States because he was deemed too fat to fly home.

    The service that connects England to France and Belgium declined to allow Kevin Chenais on board because of safety rules governing travel through the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar says provisions require all passengers to have the ability to be safely evacuated and Chenais' immobility makes this impossible.

    The move piles on the woes for Chenais, who has been struggling to get home after being denied travel home on British Airways. He later flew to Britain on another carrier.

    Read More: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/20/3766525/frenchman-denied-travel-because.html
     
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  2. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    This kid just can't catch a break! Presumably they'll find a way to ferry him across the Channel. But it looks like there will be no further travel in his future.
     
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  3. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    Jesus...he's better off chartering a flight if his finances permit.
     
  4. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That's probably the easiest solution, sudosandwich. Unfortunately, such extremely large size usually goes along with an extremely small wallet. His family probably can't afford it. :(
     
  5. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    So he was able to fly initially but was then turned down on the return?
     
  6. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Yes. Kevin Chenais flew (along with his parents) from France to the US on British Airways, but British Airways wasn't willing to fly him back. Then his family thought they'd made arrangements to return via the cruise ship the Queen Mary, but then Cunard wouldn't allow them to board, either. Finally Virgin Atlantic stepped in and arranged to fly the family as far as Britain. Then the EuroStar wouldn't allow him on the Chunnel train. The kid's finally made it back home to France via P&O Ferries, which agreed to transfer the Kevin and his parents across the Channel to France. He just arrived home today, after a nearly two week delay.

    At least this kid's luckier than that poor New York lady who died in Hungary last year because during her 3 month stay there she'd grown so large she literally couldn't fit on any commercial flight!
     
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  7. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Interesting that BA was willing to fly him over, but not back. I hadn't heard about the woman in Hungary. Google here I come!!
     
  8. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    The woman in Hungary was a really sad case. In addition to being morbidly obese, she was suffering from diabetes and kidney disease. She and her husband used to travel from New York City to Hungary every summer and spend several weeks there. During her final trip to Hungary, she gained over 80 pounds during her stay (most of which I'm willing to bet was edema fluid) and became so large that when the couple tried to take their return flight to New York she literally couldn't be moved down the aisle of the aircraft, let alone fit in the seats. At least two different airlines tried to board her without success, and she died in Hungary before a solution could be found. (Why her husband didn't hop on a train and take her to Germany or Austria for medical care if they didn't trust the health care system in Hungary, I'll never understand. She didn't need a ticket home, she needed a hospital admission!)
     
  9. This is awful and should be illegal to ban people from flying. People are people no matter how much they weigh.:(
     
  10. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    But if the person doesn't fit on the plane, they don't fit on the plane. How would passing a law change that reality? Should a passenger airline be forced to charter a cargo plane at their expense to transport a single passenger because someone weighing 800 lbs bought a $300 ticket for one of their regular flights?

    In this particular case I do question British Airways' decision, since another carrier was able to get Kevin Chenais on board their plane. But in the case of the woman in Hungary, she had grown so large she literally couldn't be moved down the aisle to the seats. She just barely fit through the aircraft door! In that case, I can't blame the airlines for not flying her. A commercial passenger jet is not a cargo plane or an air ambulance (which is what she needed).

    Unfortunately, not everyone is healthy enough for commercial flight (or for travel in general).
     
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  11. MoonGoodess that is true
     
  12. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Very true. She sounds like she was medically very fragile to begin with. To travel that far from home with that significant of a medical history without even thinking about where you would get medical care if needed is poor planning to say the least. At the risk of sounding heartless, that woman was a ticking time bomb and her days were significantly numbered. She put herself at risk. My opinion is that she was most likely in congestive heart failure and would have likely died on the plane.
     
  13. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    There's a thread on TOBB regarding this, and apparently this guy flew on BA to the US for medical treatment, which resulted in him becoming the size he is now. When he flew to the US on BA, he wasn't this big.
     
  14. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Tremendously irresponsible journalism to not point this out from the get-go. He was in the US for a year and a half being treated. I definitely feel for the guy, but I also get the impression he and his family are playing the media and giving BA a pretty raw deal.
     
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  15. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    So basically it's a repeat of the New York woman's story, but with a slower rate of weight gain and a happier ending.

    Given the increasing size of the population, I wonder whether commercial airlines could keep a listing of specialty charter airlines that could handle a person of this size. Then when they have to deny boarding, they could pass that information onto the person and offer them something more helpful than a ticket refund and "Sorry!"
     
  16. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Sadly, that's most often the kind you get nowadays.

    I don't feel sorry for the guy or his family at all, because they are obviously playing the victim card and have a colossal sense of entitlement.
     
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  17. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    While they aren't the victims they make themselves out to be imo, the kid still has some crappy issues to deal with that I can certainly have some sympathy for.

    On the news angle, the more you know about a topic the worse mews coverage seems to be...
     

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