Journeys

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DALLAS (AP) – Airlines now get one-fourth of their revenue from sources other than fares – mostly fees – and one of the biggest is a charge of up to $200 to change or cancel a ticket.

The fee galls consumers who find themselves with an unexpected need to change their travel plans. In some cases, the fee is more than the price they paid for the ticket.

When all the receipts are counted, it is likely that consumers paid the airlines more than $3 billion in fees to cancel or change a flight in 2015. That is triple what they paid in change fees in 2007.

Avoiding these hefty fees will take a bit of planning before you book your flight. Once you pay for the ticket, you’re at the mercy of the airline. Experts have some tips:

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What might be Oklahoma City’s best-known attraction is also a reminder of one of its darkest days: the Oklahoma National Memorial & Museum. The site honors the 168 people who died and hundreds more who were injured when the Alfred P. Murrah Building was bombed in 1995.

Once you’ve paid your respects, take a deep breath and spend some time exploring all the other things this friendly city has to offer, from a museum devoted to cowboy culture to Vietnamese food and a famous steakhouse.

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WHAT’S NEW

The big news in Oklahoma City this spring is a $45 million whitewater rafting facility called Riversports Rapids, due to open in the city’s Boathouse District in May. The manmade course will accommodate 2,000 people rafting and kayaking each day.

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TISHOMINGO (AP) — Chickasaw Nation officials have broken ground on a new tribal information center in Tishomingo, the tribe’s historic capital.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby says the information center will serve as a gateway for the many attractions within the Chickasaw Nation, including the Chickasaw Capitol Building and Council House Museum, the Chickasaw White House, Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge and Blue River.

The 10,700-square-foot center will house the Chickasaw Nation Tourism Department, tribal Office of Special Events, the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce and Johnston County Historical Society.

Almost 3,000 square feet of the building will be dedicated to tourism promotion, with kiosks filled with information about the Chickasaw Nation and the Tishomingo area.

The tribe is also building other facilities in Tishomingo, including a new Senior Center and Head Start facility.

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NEW YORK (AP) – On top of the bag fees and other charges, families traveling this summer may have to pay extra just to sit next to one another.

Airlines are reserving a growing number of seats for elite customers or those willing to shell out more money. These seats often – but not always – come with a little extra legroom. The catch: setting these seats aside leaves fewer places for other passengers to sit without paying extra.

That means mom might end up in row 20, dad in row 23 and junior sitting all the way back in row 30, regardless of age. Airlines say their gate agents try to help family members without adjacent seats sit together, especially people flying with small children. Yet there is no guarantee things will work out.

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Native Oklahoma is a monthly publication featuring the art, people, culture and events of Oklahoma's intertribal community.

Native Oklahoma is available for free at tribal and Oklahoma welcome centers; hotels; travel plazas and online at www.nativeoklahoma.us

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