Grenada Or Granada? British Airways Wasn't Quite Sure, So Now It's Being Sued
He probably started thinking, "Well, something's not right..." long before the ninth hour of his two-hour flight. An American man is suing British Airways for sending him to Grenada island instead of Granada, Spain. It's an honest mistake that anyone can make, right? No. This was British Airways, a professional airline, and the largest one in the UK. It makes you wonder if the booking agent had slept through geography in school.
Dentist Edward Gamson set off enthusiastically from London's Gatwick Airport for the Spanish city of Granada, a trip he'd been looking forward to for a long time. "I have a lifelong interest in Islamic art," he told The Independent. "I’m also of Spanish Jewish heritage so it was something I had always wanted to do to visit Granada and the Alhambra."
The arabesque-covered Alhambra is a Moorish palace and the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Granada. But instead of landing in Moorish Spain, Gamson ended up some 4,000 miles off the mark.
"I made it absolutely clear to the booking agent I wanted to go to Granada in Spain," Gamson told The Guardian. "Why on earth would I want to go to Grenada in the Caribbean if I was flying back to America from Lisbon?" To be fair, he could have landed in worse places than a Caribbean island, but I get it — when you're mad, sometimes not even lying on the beach can console you.
This is Grenada.
This is Granada.
The mix-up apparently started in Florida, where the BA booking agent issued Gamson and his partner tickets that only said "Grenada," without the airport code, flight duration, or destination country. The couple, who I suppose couldn't spell Granada either, didn't think anything was amiss until they were on board the flight and noticed on the electronic map that they were flying west away from Europe.
When they pointed out the mistake, the BA crew on board apologized and promised they'd be immediately put on a flight back to Gatwick and en route to the right Granada. However, after a three-day ordeal, the couple never made it to Spain. Again, being stuck on a tropical island with sprawling white sand beaches isn't the worst thing in the world.
After British Airways refused to reimburse the couple for their £2,650 first-class tickets, they're now suing the airline for $34,000, which they claim is the total cost of the missed trip, including flights, hotels, trains, and tours.
The worst part of this whole mess? This wasn't even the first time British Airways sent a passenger to Grenada instead of Granada. In fact, just one week prior, the airline sent a 62-year-old woman named Lamenda Kingdon to the Caribbean island as well. She had put Granada on her bucket list after being diagnosed with cancer, but due to BA's incompetence, she has yet to cross it off. At least in her case, the booking agency, owned by BA's parent, International Airlines Group, reimbursed her ticket.
So if one pesky little letter could make a difference of 4,000 miles, we want to help prevent cases like this from occurring in the future. Attention all airlines (but mostly British Airways) — here are some cities that have similar names but are definitely, for sure, not the same city.
- Memphis, Tennessee vs. Memphis, Egypt
- Barcelona, Spain vs. Barcelona, Venezuela
- The nation of Antigua vs. Antigua, Guatemala
- Florence, Italy vs. Florence, South Carolina
- Paris, Texas vs. Paris, France
- Waterloo, Belgium vs. Waterloo, Canada
- London, UK vs. London, Canada
- Venice, Italy vs. Venice, Louisiana
- Oakland, California vs. Auckland, New Zealand (remember that episode of Full House ?)
- Moscow, Kansas vs. Moscow, Russia
- Monterey, California vs. Monterrey, Mexico
- Perth, Australia vs. Perth, Scotland
- Rome, Italy vs. Roma, Australia
- Sydney, Australia vs. Sydney, Canada
- La Paz, Mexico vs. La Paz, Bolivia
- Aberdeen, Scotland vs. Aberdeen, Washington
- Portland, Oregon vs. Portland, Maine
- Beverly Hills, California vs. Beverly Hills, Texas
- The nation of Lebanon vs. Lebanon, New Hampshire
- San Jose, California vs. San Jose, Costa Rica vs. San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
- Lastly, did you know that there's a Granada in Nicaragua, too?
Images: Pixabay, Tony Hisgett/Flickr, Wikipedia