If you think all bubbly booze is champagne, Daniel Macduff can set you straight. The Canadian has launched a class-action suit against Sunwing Airlines after he says he expected to be served champagne—which by definition must hail from the Champagne region of France—on his February flight to Cuba but was instead served what he says was a cheaper sparkling wine that originated elsewhere. Sunwing tells the BBC that Macduff took its marketing materials too literally: It promised "champagne vacations" and "champagne service," which it says were describing the overall "level of service" one would receive.
The airline calls the suit "frivolous." A lawyer for Macduff retorts that it's really not at all "about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine" but instead about the "consumer message." Lawyer Sebastien Paquette tells the National Post, "You’re trying to lure consumers by marketing something, and you’re not giving them that something ... It’s a dishonest practice." That consumer message has changed, per the BBC: Sunwing is still pouring the bubbly, but has wiped the promise of "champagne service" from its marketing and advertises "sparkling wine" online. Paquette tells the Post some 1,600 people want to join the suit, which has not yet been "certified," which would set it on course for trial. Adding insult to injury: The champagne was reportedly served to Macduff in a plastic cup. (Here are the five most frivolous lawsuits of 2016.)