There’s a difference of just one letter between the Spanish city of Granada and the Caribbean island of Grenada, and somehow that was enough to cause a British Airways passenger to be re-routed nearly 4,000 miles off course. He’s now suing the airline, NBC News reports.
Edward Gamson, a dentist from North Bethesda, Maryland, planned a trip to Portugal with his partner for a business conference last September. Since he would be close by, Gamson decided to also book them a side trip to Granada, Spain.
And while he says he specified “Spain” to the airline’s booking agent when making the arrangements by phone, Gamson and his partner ended up in Grenada instead, after being flown first to London. Gamson says he wasn’t aware of the mistake until the flight was already underway. According to NBC, he looked at the in-flight map and asked the flight attendant, "Why are we headed west to go to Spain?"
“His response was: 'Spain? We’re going to West Indies,'” Gamson told NBC. He also claims the flight crew told him that the same thing had happened to another passenger the week before.
“After nearly three days of transit, Gamson just barely made it to the conference, but his vacation was ruined: He's out the more than 375,000 frequent-flier miles he had used to book his first-class tickets, and he said the airline was less than helpful,” NBC reports.
The airline reportedly offered Gamson and his partner compensation of $376 each and a 50,000 mile credit. “But he figured the pre-booked hotels, trains and other tours they had planned cost upward of $34,000. So he sued the airline,” NBC reports.
The airline opted not to settle, “first trying to get the lawsuit moved to a federal court, where international aviation rules apply, and then trying to get it dismissed completely,” NBC reports. The request to move the case to federal court was denied earlier this month.