A passenger has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian budget airline Sunwing for serving him sparkling wine rather than champagne.
Daniel Macduff claims he was promised “champagne service” and a complimentary champagne toast on his flight to Cuba in February, only to receive cheaper sparkling wine in a plastic cup on his outbound journey, and nothing on the return trip.
Sunwing said in a statement that it believes the suit is “frivolous and without merit.” They claimed the terms “champagne service” and “champagne vacations” used in their advertising described the level of service rather than the type of drink served.
Macduff’s lawyer Sébastien Paquette claims the suit is about misleading advertising rather than the quality of the wine.
“It’s not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine,” said Paquette in a statement. “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 suit is yet to be certified by the Canadian courts, but it seeks compensation for the difference in value between the wine served and real champagne, as well as punitive damages.
Sunwing says it is no longer referencing champagne in its marketing, and its website now clarifies passengers will receive sparkling wine.