Man Finally Boards a Plane despite Weight Problem

December 19, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reject [ri-JEKT] (v.) – to decline or to refuse something
Example:  The company rejects incomplete application forms.

2. via [VAHY-uh, VEE-uh] (prep.) – by using or through
Example: We went to Japan via an airplane.

3. board [bawrd, bohrd] (v.) – to get on a vehicle (e.g. car, airplane, ship, etc.)
Example: The airplane is now ready to board passengers.

4. terrible [TER-uh-buh l] (adj.) – awfully bad or unpleasing
Example: She felt terrible during the entire trip due to car sickness.

5. inconvenience [in-kuh n-VEEN-yuh ns] (n.) – the condition of having troubles or problems
Example: Large baggage can be an inconvenience during a trip.


Read the text below.
A 22-year-old man weighing 230 kilograms has finally flown out of the US after getting rejected by an airline and a cruise ship.

Kevin Chenais is overweight due to hormonal imbalance. He went to the US via British Airways to get himself treated. With the same airline, he and his family tried to fly to France, his hometown, after more than a year. However, the British Airways rejected him, saying he was too heavy.

He and his family also tried to board the Queen Mary ship to be able to go home. Yet, the cruise ship also rejected him.

Fortunately, Virgin Atlantic agreed to fly him and his family out of the US in November. While he landed in London, he at least got one step closer to reaching France.

When asked how the flight was, he can only say one thing—it was terrible. He even said that he could not stop crying during the entire flight. But despite the inconvenience, he still felt grateful that Virgin Atlantic had him onboard.

Chenais also expressed his anger towards British Airways and Queen Mary cruise ship for refusing to take him home. Chenais’ father also said that what the airline and the ship did is very discriminating, leaving his son feeling empty upon rejection.

On another note, the family will soon reach France with the help of a French official. They are expected to board either Eurostar or Air France, although Chenais expressed his intention to stay in the UK for a while.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Is it reasonable for British Airways to reject Kevin Chenais? Why or why not?
·         If you were Kevin Chenais, how would you have felt after getting rejected by the airline company? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Do you think airlines should have weight limit for passengers? Why or why not?
·         Should overweight passengers pay double for each flight? Please explain your answer.


December 19, 2013