A Canadian airline is the subject of legal action – for serving sparkling wine instead of champagne.
Passenger Daniel Macduff is suing Toronto-based Sunwing for serving sparkling wine during a recent flight to Cuba, despite marketing the flight as having ‘champagne service’ and offering a free champagne toast.
He’s now seeking damages, claiming the commercial carrier deliberately used deceptive advertising to push ticket sales.
Pop culture: Daniel Macduff is suing Toronto-based Sunwing over allegations it served sparkling wine, rather than champagne, during a recent flight to Cuba
For wine to be classed as champagne it must originate from the region in northeast France, which it’s named after.
Mr Macduff’s attorney, Montreal-based Sebastien Paquette, says his client was served a cheaper alternative, which had the same appearance as the popular drink, but was technically sub-standard.
Thus, the offer of ‘champagne service’ on which his client decided to book his flight was inaccurate.
Mr Paquette says the class action is based solely on this issue of misleading marketing, rather than the beverage’s classification.
‘It’s not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine,’ he said, according to the BBC. ‘It’s the consumer message behind it.’
Responding to the allegation, a representative for Toronto-based Sunwing dismissed the claim as ‘frivolous and without merit’.
Claim: Macduff’s attorney, Sebastien Paquette, is arguing the commercial carrier used deceptive advertising to push ticket sales, which it denies
The BBC reported that the airline said in a statement that it wasn’t referring to the in-flight drinks when it advertised ‘champagne vacations’ and ‘champagne service’.
Instead, it said it used those terms to ‘denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package’.
Despite this, its website has since been updated to explicitly state that passengers will receive sparkling wine, not champagne.
Etiquette expert William Hanson believes that while Mr Macduff has the right idea in trying to sue, the fact that a champagne service was advertised in the first place was not a good sign.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘Sueing an airline for not serving actual champagne may be a tad OTT, but the sentiment is correct. If an airline, hotel or restaurant promises something then it must deliver it and recognise that there is a difference between champagne, prosecco and other sparkling wines.
‘That said I’d never fly with any airline who actively advertised a champagne service, even if they then served proper champagne.’
MailOnline has contacted Sunwing Airlines, but is yet to receive a response.
This is not the first bizarre case against an airline.
Last month a California woman sued Delta airlines over an in-flight meal that she claims broke her tooth.
Meanwhile, in April, Zahra Azizkhani sued Qatar Airways for $850,000 (£645,000) in damages after an air hostess ‘spilled coffee on her’.