LONDON - A clinically obese Frenchman stranded in the United States because he was deemed too heavy to fly finally took a plane to Britain Tuesday - only to be refused travel home by the Eurostar cross-channel train.
Kevin Chenais, 22, who weighs 230 kilos (500 pounds), arrived at London's Heathrow airport with his parents after Virgin Atlantic agreed to fly him back from New York.
He had been in the US since May 2012 for treatment for a hormone imbalance and had been set to return 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, a visibly exhausted Chenais described the ordeal to return home as "terrible, terrible, terrible".
"The flight was really hard," he told AFP as he sat on his mobility scooter at the airport.
"I didn't stop crying for the whole flight."
Chenais, who was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes, praised Virgin for flying him out from New York's JFK airport and paying for the economy-class flights for him and his parents.
"That was very kind of them," he said, "but I was very uncomfortable - I have a lot of problems with the skin on my thighs and the seat was small."