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Do you think he has a case?

Jessica Plautz
October 19, 2017

A Canadian man is suing an airline for serving sparkling wine instead of authentic Champagne.

The man, Daniel Macduff, said he booked a trip to Cuba on Sunwing Airlines which advertised a “champagne toast” on board, according to the BBC.

Related: Is Champagne Still Champagne Without Bubbles?

What was actually served, he said, was a cheaper sparkling wine.

“It's not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine,” Macduff's lawyer, Sébastien Paquette, said. “It's the consumer message behind it.”

Champagne, you may already know, is from the region of the same name in northeastern France. But sparkling wine, while not necessarily a ding on its quality (there are some excellent bottles from all over), could be from any region. (Read more about the difference between Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava.)

Lest you think Macduff is alone in this, Paquette said that 1,600 additional people have come forward to potentially join the suit, the BBC reported.

Sunwing — a low-cost airline based in Canada that flies to destinations in North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean — told the BBC that using “champagne” in the marketing of the trip was meant “to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package.”

Sparkling wine toast doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
Screenshot of Sunwing's website.

“Sunwing has always been proud to invest in experience-enhancing features for our customers,” Sunwing said in a statement. “We consider any legal action relating to the marketing of this service to be frivolous and without merit.”

Considering the airline's low-cost model, it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise to passengers that it was cheaper sparkling wine on board and not Champagne. Sunwing, however, has changed how they market the trip and no longer refers to champagne.

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