• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Flying can be costly, especially for those who don't do it often. FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney sat down with ABC News to tell us what infrequent fliers need to know before they book a flight.Here's what he had to say:Some people fly frequently for work, but more of us are what you could call leisure travelers who might fly one summer, drive the next.Traveling by plane only sporadically can leave gaps in our knowledge because the air-travel industry changes its rules and practices often.A few years ago, for instance, getting free meals when flying coach was the norm. Then that perk disappeared. Now it’s making a comeback.Here are some other things infrequent travelers may need to know.1. Get to the airport early.Rushing to the gate with seconds to spare is a thing of the past. These days, airlines have added incentive to take off and arrive on time because the government publishes these statistics for the world to see; as a result, airlines like Delta suggest domestic passengers arrive at the airport two hours early, check in 30 minutes before departure and be at the gate at least 15 minutes before takeoff. Why? Because sometimes planes leave early, and if you’re not there, they’re not going to wait for you.Suggestion: Don’t be late. You could get stuck with a $200 ticket-change fee.2. Checking bags usually costsFree checked bags: Southwest is the only U.S. airline that will still check bags for free.Free carry-on bags: Most of the big airlines offer this, with the exception of travelers flying on basic economy fares on American and United. Smaller airlines including Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit generally charge fees for all luggage.Suggestion: Use a carry-on even if you have to pay for it because the bag that travels by your side is a bag that won’t go missing.3. Forget about refundsExcept in very rare cases, once you buy your ticket, there’s no changing your mind because the cheapest tickets are almost always nonrefundable. Be very sure of your travel dates before you book.Suggestion: If you must change your mind about a trip, do so within 24 hours of ticket purchase; by law, changes within this grace period are free.4. Pay-to-pick seatsThis is increasingly common, and you’ll see it on nearly every airline: You buy a ticket, go to pick your seat and find that the only free seats are middle seats way in the back. If you want a seat next to an aisle, window or not directly across from a restroom, you may have to pay a fee for it. On some discount airlines, you get no choice at all; if you don’t pay the fee, you will be randomly assigned a seat and should not expect much.Suggestion: These pick-your-seat fees can change as the departure date gets closer, so keep checking back to see if you can get a better deal.5. Freebies, what freebies?Meals in economy are making a comeback, but don’t get too excited because they are offered on only a few routes of a few airlines. As for blankets and pillows, those airlines that still offer these amenities will make you pay for it. The availability of entertainment options is all over the map, but some airlines are phasing out seat-back screens because so many travelers bring their own electronic devices. Be sure you have your device.Suggestion: Save money, bring a lunch from home, take a warm jacket, and carry headphones or ear buds for your device. And keep your charger handy.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Donaldson Collection/Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Capone's watch as well as a musical composition he handwrote behind bars in Alcatraz were among the items up for bid in the "Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen" auction by RR Auction, an auction house headquartered in Boston.Capone, who was born to Italian immigrants in New York City, headed a Chicago-based crime empire during the Prohibition era that raked in millions of dollars through bootlegging, gambling, racketeering and other illicit activities. He was dubbed Scarface by the press after his face was slashed during a fight, a nickname he apparently disliked."Unlike his more maligned moniker of ‘Scarface,’ Capone preferred that those closest to him call him by ‘Snorky,’ a slang term which meant ‘sharp’ or ‘well-dressed,'" according to a description accompanying Capone's watch on RR Auction's website.According to the auction house, the rounded triangular pocket watch was personally owned and used by Capone. The timepiece is on its original chain made of 14-karat white gold. The exterior of the case features 23 diamonds shaped to form Capone's initials, "AC," which are encircled by 26 additional diamonds. Another 72 diamonds circle the watch's platinum face and gold-tone impressed numerals.Online bids for Capone's watch had surpassed $17,000 prior to the live auction Saturday afternoon. Experts estimated the item would sell for more than $25,000, according to RR Auction.A musical piece entitled "Humoresque," written in pencil by Capone when he was incarcerated in Alcatraz in the 1930s, was also up for grabs. The musical manuscript shows Capone's softer side, containing the lines: "You thrill and fill this heart of mine, with gladness like a soothing symphony, over the air, you gently float, and in my soul, you strike a note."Experts estimated the sheet will sell for over $20,000, according to RR auction. it went for $18,750.Also up for auction Saturday was a letter written by gangster boss John Gotti, two life-size death masks of gangster John Dillinger, a brick from the scene of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and jewelry that belonged to infamous crime duo Bonnie and Clyde.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Erin Moore(NEW YORK) -- Weddings usually include something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue -- but for one bride, there was something funny, too.Bride Andria Farthing asked her cousin, Patrick Casey, to take on a unique role in her wedding to earlier this month."They've been together a while and I started lobbying to be the flower man before they were even engaged," Patrick Casey told ABC News. "They loved the idea, and I was beyond excited they said yes once they were officially engaged.""I think every good marriage has a little laughter in it," Casey said, explaining that he "decided to have some fun with it."He said Andria and the groom, Jake, "fully approved and encouraged" him to embrace the role with gusto.As Casey made his way up the aisle, he tossed every last petal out of his tiny basket, even pulling some extra ones from random coat pockets."I forgot to use the petals I stuffed in my shoe though," Casey laughed.This wasn't the first time the cousins were in a wedding party together.Twenty years ago, the pair walked down the aisle together as ring bearer and flower girl, so Farthing had Casey carry the very same basket at her ceremony on June 17."When I was about five and she was about three, we were in my mom's brother's wedding," Casey explained. "I think her mom was the one who still had the basket."Casey, who is from Appleton, Wisconsin, fully embraced the non-traditional role of "flower man" even after the ceremony was over."I saved a couple petals and would randomly throw them on people during the reception," Casey said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat, U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday with energy companies rebounding from earlier this week.The Dow Jones slid 2.53 (-0.01 percent) to finish at 21,394.76.The Nasdaq jumped 28.56 (+0.46 percent) to close at 6,265.25, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,438.30, up 3.80 (+0.16 percent) from its open.Crude oil was about 1 percent higher with prices at $43 per barrel.Winners and Losers:  An earnings miss for Bed Bath & Beyond sent shares plunging 12 percent.Barnes & Noble climbed 8 percent after reporting a narrower-than-expected loss in its fiscal fourth quarter.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A Texas police officer has filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company, claiming that his squad car literally made him sick. Austin Police Sgt. Zachary LaHood was issued a 2011 Ford Explorer, a sport utility vehicle that's popular with police departments around the country. In March, while he was behind the wheel of the SUV, LaHood passed out and had a minor accident. His attorney, Brian Chase, blames an exhaust leak that's been found in that model. "I want the public to be outraged over our police driving these cars to protect us, sometimes at very high rates of speed, are at risk of passing out and not only killing themselves, but crashing into us," Chase said.LaHood alleges that Ford Motor Co. knew about a potential exhaust leak in 2011 to 2015 Explorer police models and issued a recall. The automaker says it's aware of an odor in some Explorers, but adds that its own investigation has determined that it isn't a health or safety risk.The sergeant says he has lingering neurological damage and wants over a million dollars from Ford and the dealership which, his lawsuit alleges, failed to fix the problem.
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  • Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gun makers have boosted production in recent years, focusing on more high-caliber pistols and rifles designed for self-defense and shifting away from recreational firearms used for hunting and target shooting, the authors of a new study said.Gun violence kills more than 36,000 Americans each year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Authors of the study, published Thursday in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, said research has focused on victims of gun violence and government policies, while their study is one of the first to focus on gun industry practices.Looking at data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the researchers noted a significant increase in gun manufacturing overall from 2005 to 2013, in contrast to a slight downward trend before 2005.They also found that driving this growth was higher production of pistols and rifles, and the pistols tended to be higher-caliber models, or ones that fire larger bullets. The authors said that five major gun manufacturers control nearly 60 percent of the market, so changes in production of one manufacturer could significantly affect the others."It seems clear to us that the trend is for self-defense," lead study author Dr. Michael Siegel told ABC News.Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, further suggested that the findings provide evidence of a change in consumer demand."[Manufacturers] have reinvented guns not as a recreational sport or tool but as a symbol of freedom and security," he said.The study authors further suggested that the issue of gun violence should shift from the criminal justice perspective to the public health arena -- a point that has been opposed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a major industry organization for gun manufacturers."Guns are not a disease," Lawrence G. Keane, the foundation's senior vice president and general counsel, told ABC News in a statement. "There is no vaccine or health intervention for the criminal misuse of firearms."Siegel, however, said the study is important because it points to the industry's responsibility in preventing gun violence.He added that the goal of the research was not to deprive gun owners of their weapons."They are not the enemy in public health," he said. "There are ways to reduce gun violence while valuing gun owners' values … It has been painted too long as mutually exclusive."Siegel said that the group's next research steps are to identify the most effective methods and policies for isolating the small number of people who are most likely to commit acts of violence using guns."The solution lies in not taking guns away from people who are law-abiding but by being more effective at keeping guns out of the hands of the people who are at highest risk of gun violence," he said.
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