A French family who went to the US for medical treatment said they were stranded in Chicago after British Airways determined their son was too fat to fly.
Mr Kevin Chenais, 22, spent 1½ years at the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a hormone disorder which led him to weigh 227kg.
His mother was near to tears as she described the family's problems to an affiliate of broadcaster CBS.
"We blame British Airways because now they just leave us, and they brought us here," Mrs Christina Chenais told the station.
"If they could bring him here with that problem in economy class, there was a way to take him back by economy but just get him back home for his medical treatments to continue."
The family spent a week in an airport hotel trying to resolve the matter and, running out of money, has decided their only option is to take a train to New York and cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary cruise ship.
Mr Chenais requires round-the-clock oxygen and medical attention.