Man sues airline for serving sparkling, not champagne

Man sues airline for serving sparkling, not champagne

In probably our favourite story of the day, a Canadian man is suing Sunwing Airlines for serving him a different drink than was promised.

According to the BBC, Daniel Macduff had booked a holiday to Cuba through Sunwing, and included in the package was a complimentary on-board champagne toast.

But when he arrived on his outgoing flight, Macduff was horrified to discover he was being served sparkling instead of actual champagne.


And if you thought that was bad, Macduff’s travesty continued on his return flight where he didn’t even get shitty, rip-off champagne – he got nothing! Zip, zero, zilch beverages.

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So what else could Macduff do but lawyer up and sue?

(Side note: there’s a lot of things he could’ve done that don’t involve suing, but then again if he didn’t, we wouldn’t have this hilarious story to share with you now, would we?)

Anywho, Macduff’s lawyer said, per the BBC, that the “class action” (yes, really), hinges on the misleading advertising of Sunwing Airlines, and not the poor quality of wine served.


“It’s not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine,” said lawyer Sébastien Paquette, per BBC.

“It’s the consumer message behind it.”

According to Paquette, the marketing of the holiday package leaned heavily on the champagne – as in the real deal from the Champagne region in France – to close the deal for consumers.

But Sungwing said the lawsuit is “to be frivolous and without merit”.

In an emailed statement to the BBC, Sunwing said the terms “champagne vacations” and “champagne service” were used “to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package” and not to actually describe the in-flight beverages.

The airline admitted it still offers sparkling wine to passengers on flights to southern vacation destinations, but no longer refer to it as “champagne service” in their marketing campaigns, to help avoid confusion.

Per the BBC, Sunwing assured it’s always described these particular packages as including “a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling wine” and don’t try to sugar-coat what variety of wine it is when serving it.

The airline also claimed the inflight service has been “consistently well-received by customers”.

The class action has yet to be certified by the courts, according to the BBC, but Macduff and his lawyer appear to be seeking compensation for the monetary difference between champagne (the real stuff) and what was served to him on his flight.

Our guess is about $30 or so, really. Bet those lawyer fees aren’t cheap either.

Oh, and he’s also seeking “punitive damages”, per BBC.

Pacquette claimed about 1600 other plaintiffs – let’s call them ‘victims’ for fun – have come forward in Quebec to get on the lawsuit bandwagon.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

champagne daniel macduff Lawsuit sunwing airlines

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