A Maryland man is suing British Airways over an intended flight to Spain that ended up taking him to the West Indies.
In court documents, Edward Gamson said he booked a first-class flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Granada, Spain, via London last September for him and his partner. But he said British Airways instead put the two on a flight to Grenada, an island in the Caribbean, some 4,000 miles from his intended destination.
Gamson said he did not realize the error until the flight had departed London and was already over the Atlantic en route to the West Indies. He said the airline issued electronic tickets that did not have a country code or other identifying information other than a reference to "Grenada."
According to NBC News, Gamson is a dentist based in Bethesda and he is suing the airline for breach of contract and negligence after the airline refused to refund the $4,500 tickets. Gamson is seeking $34,000 in damages for the value of the tickets, lost wages plus other nonrefundable charges and expenses incurred from the missed vacation in Spain.
Gamson filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, but British Airways filed a motion to have the case dismissed or moved to a different court, but a judge rejected its efforts.
In the ruling, the judge notes: "This cases proves the truth of Mark Twain's aphorism that '[t]he 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."