It’s no surprise when unexpected challenges arise while traveling: delayed flights, turbulence, and even an overbooked plane are par for the course. But for one man in Canada, the big issue he encountered on a recent flight has to do with… Champagne.
Daniel Macduff was traveling to Cuba on a Sunwing flight that advertised complimentary on-board champagne, the BBC reports. When Macduff boarded his flight, he didn’t receive the bubbly he expected. Instead, he got a cheaper sparkling wine. Horrified, he dialed his lawyer.
“It’s not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine,” said Macduff’s lawyer Sébastien Paquette. “It’s the consumer message behind it.”
The lawsuit adds that Sunwing’s marketing materials included references to Champagne, as in the real thing produced in the Champagne region of France (AKA our favorite type of bubbly with magical health benefits).
Sunwing told the BBC that phrases like “champagne vacations” and “champagne service” were used to describe “a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package” rather than specify the beverages served during a flight. Yes, there’s a range of sparkling wine like Prosecco and Cava that are hugely popular (and delicious), but since Sunwing referred to champagne specifically, that’s what Macduff and other customers expected on their flight. (Still confused as to what all the fuss is about? Read about the many differences between Champagne and other sparkling wines here.)
Turns out Macduff is not alone in his outrage: About 1,600 other plaintiffs have joined Macduff in the class action lawsuit against the airline. And while the suit has not yet settled, Sunwing no longer references “champagne service” in their marketing materials.