By Patrick Henry, from our Insurance Law Practice Group.
December 19, 2016 — “Park’n Fly” services have become ubiquitous. A hotel, generally located close to an airport, provides one night’s accommodation, breakfast, car parking during the stay abroad and shuttle services to and from the airport, all for a flat fee. The service is especially popular in the wintertime, as the lure of warmer climates suddenly becomes irresistible to many.
In 2005 and 2006, Econolodge, close to the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau airport, was offering such a package. For $99, the customer got all four services. Of course, for winter travel, customers who purchased this package had to deposit their car keys with the hotel reception, and provide their car’s license plate number. This was meant to allow hotel staff to move the car if necessary: to allow for snow removal operations, for instance.
In late January 2005, a vacationer who had purchased this package was quite upset when he realized that the vehicle he had left at the hotel had disappeared. He filed a claim with AXA, his insurer, and received compensation for the theft; AXA, subrogated in his rights, filed a claim against the hotel which, in turn, called its insurer, Lombard, in warranty. By a stroke of bad luck, in mid-March 2006, another suntanned customer had a similar surprise, with the same hotel. The same legal scenario was repeated albeit with Promutuel as the customer’s insurer, and a new hotel owner: but Lombard was once again the liability insurer.