9/2/2014

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Buy a vowel? Couple flown to Grenada, not Granada

Buy a vowel? Couple flown to Grenada, not Granada
Grand Anse beach in Grenada. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Tony Hisgett // CC 2.0 license.)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A District of Columbia couple has sued British Airways, saying the airline ruined their vacation by booking them tickets to the Caribbean island of Grenada instead of Granada, Spain.

Edward Gamson and Lowell Canaday said in their lawsuit they wanted to travel from Washington to London and then to Granada, Spain. Gamson, a dentist who has an office in Maryland, said he explained his travel plans to a British Airways agent who made the reservation.

The lawsuit said the couple received an electronic ticket that referred to "Grenada" but didn't list the country, airport code or flight duration. The couple made it to London, but their connecting flight went to the Caribbean, not Spain. They didn't realize the mistake until they were airborne, the lawsuit said.

Gamson said in a telephone interview Wednesday that they discovered the mistake when they looked at a back-of-the-seat television monitor showing the plane headed west on a map. They then asked a member of the airline's crew what was going on.

"He said 'Spain? What are you talking about,'" Gamson said.

British Airways eventually got the couple, to Lisbon, Spain, where Gamson had planned to attend a dental conference, Gamson said. But the couple never got to see Granada's palaces as planned.

The lawsuit said they weren't the only passengers misrouted. When they arrived in the Caribbean, a member of the ground crew told them that "the exact same situation" had happened the week before, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Washington in March and asked for $34,000 plus court costs and other expenses.

A British Airways spokeswoman said in an email the airline does not comment on lawsuits. In early June, a judge denied a motion by the airline to dismiss the case.
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