Man was in the U.S. seeking medical treatment, CNN affiliate reports
British Airways: "We cannot safely accommodate the customer"
Man's mother: "There is a way to take him back by economy"
A French family is planning to sail home from the United States on the Queen Mary 2 after British Airways declined to honor their return tickets, according to CNN affiliate WBBM.
The Chenais family was supposed to fly home to France a week ago. The family has been in the United States seeking medical treatment for their 22-year-old son Kevin’s hormone disorder, the family told WBBM. Kevin Chenais weighs 500 pounds.
“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,” British Airways said in a statement.
“We were in regular contact with the family to discuss other options and we provided hotel accommodation throughout,” the airline said. The customer service team “exhausted all options. We’ll always try to accommodate a customer if it’s at all possible and it’s safe to do so.” The airline offered the family a full refund.
Kevin Chenais requires oxygen and regular medical attention, WBBM reported.
Kevin’s mother, Christina Chenais, told WBBM she doesn’t understand why the airline won’t take Kevin home.
“If they could bring him here with that problem in economy, there is a way to take him back by economy,” she said. “But just get him back home for his medical treatments to continue.”
Generally, the airline would offer larger passengers the option to purchase another seat, an airline spokesman told CNN. British Airways would not comment on the specifics of the Chenais’ case, citing privacy concerns.
The Chenais family plans to take the train to New York, WBBM reported, where they will board the Queen Mary 2.