A Canadian man has launched a class-action lawsuit against a low-cost airline for serving sparkling wine instead of champagne.

Daniel Macduff was looking forward to the complimentary glass of champagne on board his Sunwing flight to Cuba, which was advertised by the Canadian budget carrier when he booked his trip.

However, Macduff, from Quebec, was left disappointed when the airline served him a cheaper glass of bubbly instead of a glass of the grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, reports news.com.au.

Sunwing has responded to the complaint, saying it believes the lawsuit "to be frivolous and without merit" but Macduff's lawyer says the class action hinges on misleading marketing and not the quality of the wine served.


"It's not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine," Montreal-based lawyer Sebastien Paquette said, the BBC reports.

"It's the consumer message behind it."

Paquette said about 1600 other plaintiffs have come forward in Quebec to join the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that references to champagne - a sparkling wine produced specifically in the Champagne region of France - was front and centre of Sunwing's marketing materials.

But 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 specifically describe the in-flight beverages.

The class action has yet to be certified by the courts, but seeks compensation for the monetary difference between the actual wine served and a glass of champagne as well as punitive damages.

The airline has confirmed that it still offers sparkling wine to all its passengers on flights to southern vacation destinations, but are no longer referencing "champagne service" in active marketing campaigns.

However, it also claimed that it has always described these services as including "a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling wine" and announce it as such on the aircraft.