‘My flight was delayed by six hours. Am I entitled to compensation?’


A holiday to de-stress can be ruined by lengthy delays in airports. Stock image

Gráinne Griffin, Director of Communications at the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Q I’m just back from a weekend city break, one that was significantly shortened because my outward flight was delayed by six hours. Another passenger on the flight mentioned that we might be entitled to compensation. Is this correct? What are my rights?

Ali, Co Tipperary

AI’m sorry to hear about your travel difficulties, but the good news is that you are entitled to compensation if you arrived at your destination more than three hours after the scheduled arrival time – unless the airline can prove that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances. The amount of compensation depends on whether the flight was short, medium, or long haul.

Indeed, as we approach the busy summer travel season, it’s important that consumers know they have rights if their flight is delayed or cancelled, their luggage is lost, or if they are denied boarding or downgraded. These rights apply when you’re flying through airports in EU or European Economic Area member states, on board flights departing from these countries, and on flights with an EU airline that arrive into any of these countries.

You should be able to apply for compensation through the airline’s website; sometimes this is listed under EU 261 – the EU regulation that covers passenger rights. If you have trouble accessing compensation, you can lodge a complaint through the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), which is the national enforcement body since it merged with the Commission for Aviation Regulation last month.

You also have a right to ‘care and assistance’ such as refreshments, phone calls, or even overnight accommodation, depending on the length of the delay.

‘My son, who is nearly 18, needs a bank account because he has a summer job. Which bank should he choose?’​

Q My son is turning 18 and is close to finishing his first year of college. He needs to open a bank account because he’s found a job for the summer. I’ve been with the same bank for decades so I have no idea how he should go about choosing one. What advice should I give him?

Ray, Co Meath​

A For many young people, taking up their first summer job often means having control over their own bank account for the first time. While it might be tempting for your son to pick a bank based on the best freebie on offer or just go with a digital-only provider, there are a few factors to consider first.

As your son is a college student, he should be eligible to open a student current account, which should give him access to free banking given that most student accounts don’t charge any fees for daily banking. This goes for anyone doing a third-level course or apprenticeship.

Your son’s first step should be to go to Ccpc.ie/money and click on ‘money tools’ to find our student account comparison tool. This tool will allow him to quickly compare the fees and benefits of five different student accounts, including credit union accounts.

He may also be interested in opening a standard current account with a digital bank, and he can use our current account comparison tool to compare digital bank accounts with traditional accounts. However, if he will need to regularly lodge cash – he might receive cash tips in his new job, for instance – a traditional provider may be a better option. If your son’s job means he’ll need in-person banking or cash transactions, he should make sure his chosen provider has a branch nearby.

Before committing to any provider, he’ll need to make sure it has all the features he wants, from a good app to being able to use Apple Pay or Google Pay on his phone or a smartwatch.

Our website has all of this information; just click ‘more details’ under each of type of current account to see a full list of features, fees and benefits.

One last thing for him to consider is whether he’ll need access to an overdraft or a credit card with his current account provider.

This is particularly relevant when opening a student current account, as some traditional and digital banks do not offer access to credit facilities to holders of standard current accounts.

Once he has identified his chosen account provider, the next step will be to open his account.

This can usually be done online, over the phone or in branch, if the chosen provider operates a branch network. He’ll need to provide proof of his identity and his address; these requirements can sometimes prove tricky for young people without a driving licence or utility bill in their own name, so he should check the list of accepted documents before starting the application process.

Lastly, you mention that you’ve had the same account for decades, so you might consider shopping around yourself. Like your son, you can use our current accounts comparison tool to see if there’s a better deal out there to suit your particular banking needs.

Switching banks can be a hassle, but it might make good financial sense. Besides, by shopping around for financial services, you’d be setting a good example for your son.