What the experts say
Dealing with an airline bankruptcy
The first thing to do if your airline goes out of business is “call your credit card company and ask for a chargeback,” said Mike Cetera in ThePointsGuy.com. The collapse of WOW Air, an Icelandic airline that offered round-trip flights between the U.S. and Europe for as little as $200, has put a spotlight on travelers stranded at the airport by an airline bankruptcy. As WOW canceled flights without notice, for many travelers the most pressing questions were “How do I get home and how can I get reimbursed?” A chargeback is a “reversal of charges” for a service you never got. “There’s no guarantee your issuer will reverse the charge, but it’s definitely worth trying.” Another option: Some credit cards offer coverage of as much as $10,000 per traveler specifically in case of an airline’s insolvency. Other cards exclude airline bankruptcy from their travel coverage.
Credential culture run amok
Why are so many companies requiring their job candidates to hold Ph.D.s? asked Noah Smith in Bloomberg.com. A 2017 survey found that about 35 percent of the job openings in AI technology required a doctorate. “In finance, Ph.D.s are heavily recruited for top quant trading jobs.” And a quick Google search “reveals a vast array of tech industry positions” asking for candidates with the most advanced degrees. In some cases, the supply is there: “The number of doctorates awarded in the U.S. has increased in recent decades.” But employers should think twice about the requirements on their job listings. If they are stuck on demanding a doctorate, they risk overlooking “the vast pools of talent among those who lack the most polished credentials.”
When a swimming pool is worth it
If you have a second home, there are some surprising ways to reduce your costs, said Daniel Akst in The Wall Street Journal. One tip: Get a pool. It’s a “well-known fact” that pools do little for resale value, and that keeps a lot of people from installing a pool at their primary home. But a pool can be a major factor in making your second home more rentable for the weeks or months you don’t use it. Renting your home is easier now, thanks to internet-connected security and locks. When a contractor or renter needs access, “the owners can remotely turn off the alarm and unlock the doors.” One bonus: If you rent your home for just a short period, no more than 14 days a year, your earnings are tax-free.