Trinidadian family in New York to sue CAL over tickets

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Attorney Richard Jaggasar –

ANOTHER family of three is threatening legal action against Caribbean Airlines (CAL) for money they lost after they bought tickets to visit Trinidad for their grandmother’s 90th birthday in 2021, but were unable to use them after the country’s borders were closed owing to the covid19 pandemic in March 2020.

Attorney Richard Jaggasar, who represents Pamela Hunt, Fiona Lewis and Jonathan Clarke, of New York, in a pre-action letter which has been acknowledged by CAL, said the three purchased roundtrip tickets from New York to Trinidad in March and April 2020. The tickets were worth US$2,255.09.

Hunt bought her tickets on March 1, 2020, before the borders were closed, for a January 9, 2021 flight from New York. Lewis and Clarke bought their tickets in April 2020 for February 5 and 8, 2021, flights.

Acknowledging the latter two bought their tickets after the borders were closed, Jaggasar said they were bought with the understanding that the tickets would retain their value and were redeemable.

He said the three booked flights to visit their grandmother, but she has since died and they were not able to see her before, he said.

“The loss of opportunity to see their grandmother before her passing, together with the mental anguish of knowing they did everything in their power to see her, invites compensation from CAL.

“It should be noted the tickets were booked almost a year in advance for flights in February 2021. By that time, most countries and airlines had protocols in place to secure their passengers, CAL simply did not.”

Jaggasar said, in December 2020 the three were told the tickets had been cancelled.

They immediately asked for a refund and was told it would be processed. By January, nothing had happened and they were told the refund was pending approval and there was a backlog. To date, the lawyer said, they have not been told whether their tickets have retained value or whether they will get a refund.

Last month, they were told their request for information about the status of their tickets was before a special department.

Jaggasar said he has firm instructions to institute breach-of-contract proceedings against CAL, alleging that the airline sold the tickets in April knowing flights were grounded, but with the expectation that by February 2021, they would return to normal.

He also said at trial, his client will contend that CAL misrepresented its intention to assure passengers their tickets would retain their value.They are asking for the cost of the tickets.

Last month, a woman and her nieces also threatened legal action against the airline after they bought three roundtrip tickets in February 2020 to travel to New York in August that year.