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Dentist sues for booking mistake that sent him to Grenada, not Granada

Posted Jun 24, 2014 10:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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St. George's, Grenada. Image: Shutterstock.

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Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Image: Shutterstock.

A dentist from Maryland alleges in a lawsuit that British Airways booked a flight for him to Grenada, the Caribbean island, rather than Granada, Spain.

Edward Gamson says he made it absolutely clear to the booking agent that he wanted a first-class flight to Granada, Spain, report the Independent and NBC News. He and his partner didn’t realize they were going to the wrong destination until they were already on the flight to Grenada. They traveled from Washington, D.C., to London, to Grenada.

Gamson said he didn’t detect the error because his airport tickets to “Grenada” didn’t show the airport code, destination or flight duration. Gamson is seeking $34,000 in damages. He says the airline offered to pay his partner and himself $376 each and 50,000 miles. But that doesn’t cover money lost because of advance bookings for hotels, trains and tours, he told NBC.

Gamson's pro se suit alleges negligence and breach of contract.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of Washington, D.C., ruled on June 5 that the suit isn’t completely pre-empted by a treaty governing international air travel, and removal from a superior court to federal court wasn’t warranted.

“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,’ ” Boasberg wrote. “Except here only a single letter’s difference is involved."

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