Requests to recover money after trip canceled due to COVID-19 have jumped 218% since January.
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According to the online legal services platform Neolegal, the trigger for this increase in requests would be the victory in court of a couple from Rimouski, who won against Air Transat on January 25. The Small Claims Court of this Bas-Saint-Laurent city ruled in favor of the two individuals, who claimed $ 5,000.
Neolegal also claims to have helped thousands of Quebecers to send formal notices since the start of the pandemic. This would be 8,000 people who have benefited from the advice of the platform since March 2020.
“The people who call us are very frustrated by the situation and want to assert their right to justice so as not to lose the money invested,” Philip Hazeltine, president of Neolegal, said in a statement Friday.
This criticizes the fact that many travelers have received travel credits rather than reimbursement for their flights. In this regard, he recommends that users first send a formal notice to the airline or travel agency concerned.
The second step is to apply for small claims, a process that can sometimes be long and complicated, admits Hazeltine.
“Even if we cannot be represented by a lawyer before the Court, we can be helped by a lawyer to prepare the case. It costs a few hundred dollars, but it saves a lot of time and stress. To recover several thousand dollars, it may be worth it! ” he indicated.