Man Sues Airline for Not Serving Him Champagne

He was promised the good stuff.


Those of us accustomed to traveling coach may consider ourselves lucky to get a packet of peanuts and a tumbler of watery soda when we fly on a commercial airline, but a passenger on Canada’s low-cost Sunwing Airlines is ticked off that he wasn’t served Champagne.               

A Quebec man named Daniel Macduff claims he booked a flight to Cuba on a Sunwing flight offering “champagne service” expecting the complimentary “glass of Champagne” the airline promised in marketing materials. Instead, he contends, he was given a plastic cup with a cheaper sparkling wine. So he opted to launch a class-action suit alleging that the airlines had engaged in misleading advertising. Approximately 1,600 other Sunwing travelers have subsequently joined his suit, Canada’s National Post reports.

Sunwing, which, according to the paper, has since changed its advertisements to promise only the service of “sparkling wine” and not Champagne, a designation that applies only to wines from the Champagne region of France, has called the lawsuit “frivolous and without merit,” and says the word “Champagne” referred to the level of service, not the specific wine. (Consumerist notes that the company has similarly updated the wording on its website.)

But the attorney representing Macduff and his fellow litigants says there’s a bigger issue at play than simply a poor pour.

“You have to go beyond the pettiness of the [wine cost] per head,” the lawyer, Sebastien Paquette, told the National Post. “What’s important is you’re trying to lure consumers by marketing something, and you’re not giving them that something … It’s a dishonest practice.”

The lawsuit is still bubbling its way through Canada’s legal system. We’ll see what rises to the top.

Photo: iStock

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