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Canadian man sues airline after receiving sparkling wine instead of champagne

His champagne wishes were replaced with sparkling wine reality, and now, he's suing.

Daniel Macduff of Quebec booked a flight on Sunwing Airlines to Cuba, going with the airline because it advertised a complimentary champagne toast for passengers, BBC News reports. What he was served wasn't champagne from the French region it's named after, but rather sparkling wine, Macduff said, and even that was provided only on the outbound flight. Macduff's attorney, Sebastien Paquette, says this is a classic case of misleading marketing. "It's not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine," he told the BBC. "It's the consumer message behind it."

Sunwing's marketing materials clearly showed authentic champagne, Paquette said, but Sunwing, which calls the lawsuit "frivolous and without merit," argues the terms "champagne vacations" and "champagne service" were used to "denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package," not to describe beverages passengers would receive. The company has made some changes, no longer referring to champagne in its marketing materials and clearly stating online to expect sparkling wine only on southern routes, but that hasn't stopped 1,600 other plaintiffs from joining the class action lawsuit, Paquette said. They are seeking compensation for the difference in price between a glass of champagne and a glass of sparkling wine, in addition to punitive damages.