A Frenchman, Kevin Chenais, has been refused a seat on the Eurostar travelling from London to Paris because at 230kg, he was deemed “too fat to travel” on the train.
Chenais ordeal started in the United States where he was initially refused a seat on the plane back to the UK. He was eventually allowed to travel on the plane only to arrive in London and be told he couldn’t get on the train back home in Paris.
According to a Skynews report, he travelled to the US in May 2012 to receive treatment for a hormonal imbalance and was due back home on British Airways last month, but the airline refused to accept him as a passenger, saying he was too heavy.
The family subsequently tried to sail across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, but the cruise ship’s owners also refused to have him on board.
After arriving at Heathrow, Mr Chenais described the ordeal as “terrible, terrible, terrible”.
“The flight was really hard, I didn’t stop crying for the whole flight,” he said.
Mr Chenais praised Virgin for flying him from New York’s JFK airport and paying for the economy-class flights for him and his parents.
“That was very kind of them, but I was very uncomfortable,” he said.
“I have a lot of problems with the skin on my thighs and the seat was small.”
Mr Chenais and his parents were met at Heathrow by French consular staff who arranged for them to try for a Paris-bound Eurostar train later on Tuesday.
But Eurostar then said he had been refused travel because of its regulations for evacuation procedures.
“His weight meant that we would not be able to take care of this person or be able to carry him to evacuate him,” a spokeswoman said.
She added that Eurostar did not have any specific weight limit, but each train has two places for disabled or limited mobility people and the train’s staff had to be capable of getting each of those people out in case of emergency.
Mr. Chenais lodged at a hotel near the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras station in London while contemplating his other options.
The family’s final destination is their home town of Ferney-Voltaire near the Swiss border.
Mr Chenais’ father Rene, 62, said his son had been left feeling “empty” when British Airways refused to let him fly.