When Edward Gamson booked his flight to Spain, he never imagined he’d wind up in the Caribbean. But that’s exactly what happened.
He wanted to travel to the Spanish city of Granada, but was sent by British Airways instead to the Caribbean island of Grenada. And he’s suing the airline over it.
“I made it absolutely clear to the booking agent I wanted to go to Granada in Spain,” Gamson, a dentist from Maryland, told The Independent.
But what should have been a two-hour flight from his starting point in London turned into a nine-hour flight to the Caribbean. He first realized he was going the wrong way when he looked at the plane’s in-flight map. His ticket didn’t tip him off because it only said “Grenada,” there was no airport or country listed, reports The Independent.
Gamson and his partner never made it to Spain. And British Airways refused to reimburse the $4,500 first-class tickets, so Gamson is suing the airline for $34,000 in damages (the cost of his tickets, hotel, trains, tours, and other booked expenses for the trip).
It’s not the first time the Granada/Grenada mix-up has happened. A week before Gamson’s plight, a woman from England also found herself in the Caribbean after intending to travel to Spain. According to The Independent report, her tickets were booked with Avios, a company owned by British Airways’ parent company (International Airlines Group). She was reimbursed.
U.S. Judge James Boasberg wrote the following in his ruling:
This case proves the truth of Mark Twain’s aphorism that ‘the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug’. Except here only a single letter’s difference is involved.