Man Sues Airline Because 'Champagne' They Offered Was Actually 'Sparkling Wine'

The word 'Champagne' caught on, and a lot of people will use the word for their bubbly whether it actually applies or not. It's similar to when people use the brand name 'Kleenex' to mean 'tissue', or use 'Jacuzzi' to mean 'hot tub'.

Champagne also become a word associated with luxury, even when no Champagne is available. Because of the different meaning of the term, one airline and their customer got their wires crossed, and now that little miscommunication has resulted in a lawsuit.

Daniel Macduff, a Canadian man who was flying from Quebec to Cuba on vacation, was offered a complimentary 'Champagne service' on Sunwing Airlines. When Macduff got his glass of bubbly, however, it wasn't actually 'Champagne', it was sparkling wine, the BBC reported.

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but only winemakers who use grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and follow strict rules about fermentation are allowed to use the specific name. The term is actually strictly regulated. All other bottles of bubbly, you'll note, are labeled 'sparkling wine'.

Many people have incorrectly come to use Champagne as a generic term, much like they might use Kleenex or Jacuzzi. The customer in this case felt that he had been misled when he was promised 'Champagne' and he is suing the airline for false advertisement.

The dissatisfied customer also says he didn't get his complimentary glass of sparkling wine on the return flight at all.

"It's not about the pettiness of Champagne versus sparkling wine,” said the man's lawyer. "It's the consumer message behind it."

“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 lawyer argues.

According to Sunwing, the man took the term 'Champagne service' way too literally.

“Sunwing has always been proud to invest in experience-enhancing features for our customers,” read a statement from the airline.

“The terms ‘champagne vacations’ and ‘champagne service’ were used to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package from the flight through to the destination experience and are not a reference to beverages served inflight or in-destination," the statement explains.

The airline says the lawsuit is 'frivolous and without merit' to Fox News, and believes it'll be dismissed. Still, they appear not to be taking any chances that there will be any further misconceptions. They've changed the name 'Champagne service' to 'welcome glass of sparkling wine'.

“Anywhere that we’ve detailed our inflight services, we have accurately described these as including 'a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling wine' across relevant marketing materials and even announce them on the aircraft," the airline said in a statement.

They’ll have to see if a judge agrees. As it turns out, Macduff isn't the only dissatisfied customer who feels duped after being promised Champagne and getting ordinary sparkling wine. Some 1,600 other plaintiffs have joined the class action lawsuit against Sunwing.

Source: Fox News
Photo: YouTube

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