Food & Drink

Canadian Passenger Sues Airline Over Promise of Champagne

If you thought miniscule legroom, food made out of Silly Putty and debt-inducing baggage fees were bad, those complaints are nothing compared to the torture, the utter abuse, the anguish of free sparkling wine passed off as Champagne…at least according to one Canadian flyer. Daniel Macduff is suing Sunwing airlines for giving him complimentary sparkling wine when, he says, he was promised real, French Champagne. Oh, the horror.

According to Fortune, Macduff claims Sunwing promised “Champagne service” and a Champagne toast on his flight to Cuba in February, but instead received sparkling wine. (The difference, FYI, is that Champagne can only be made in Champagne, France in a very particular manner, and sparkling wine can be made anywhere in a variety of ways.) His lawyer adds that the suit is less concerned with wine quality than misleading advertising.

Ridiculous as Macduff’s claims might be, the budget airline’s defense isn’t much better. Sunwing has dismissed the suit as “frivolous and without merit” (fair) because language like “Champagne service” and “Champagne vacations” in advertisements refer to their high level of service rather than literal Champagne (not so fair).

Macduff wants Sunwing to pay out the difference in cost between the two wines, as well as punitive damages. Meanwhile, all we want is some budget bubbly back here in coach.