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Delta to debut new uniforms across airline in May

After making a variety of changes to designs for new employee uniforms, Delta Air Lines plans to roll out its new Zac Posen-designed collection next May.

Last year, Atlanta-based Delta held a fashion show to display its new uniform designs, and since then 1,000 Delta employees have tested the clothing. The new uniforms will be worn by 60,000 Delta front-line workers starting May 29.

>> Read more trending news 

In response to feedback from the employees who did the testing, more than 165 changes have been made to the uniform designs, according to Michael Hall, a Delta Sky Club lead agent who sat on the airline’s uniform committee.

>> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats

Lapels will be added to some men’s uniforms, a trench coat will get a hood and more lining for cold weather, and a women’s bag will be lighter, with an added strap to attach to a roll-aboard suitcase, Hall said.

Flight attendants, customer service agents, baggage handlers, cargo and maintenance workers will all get new uniforms. Pilots’ uniforms will not change, however.

>> Related: Delta hiring 1,000 flight attendants

The new line of uniforms for employees at the airport also includes a base layer for ramp workers, amid the growing popularity of Under Armour and similar base layers.

Walt Disney World announces addition to Toy Story Land

The 12-acre Toy Story Land expansion in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World is set to open in Summer of 2018, and today the Resort announced that Woody's Lunch Box would be a quick-service dining location in the new area.

Toy Story Land will 'shrink' guests to the size of a toy so they can step into the whimsical and beloved world of Pixar Animation Studios' blockbuster franchise set in Andy’s backyard, and in keeping with the Land's theming Woody's Lunch Box has been created by Andy using his lunch box and thermos.

>> Read more trending news 

If you look closely at the rendering released earlier today, you can see some of Andy’s favorite toys, items from his lunch, and maybe even a few green army man on a nearby lookout tower watching for Andy’s return.

“We can’t wait for our guests to experience Toy Story Land, and the new quick-service window located within the land will surely delight hungry toys and people alike,” said Carlos Castro, vice president of Disney Corporate Alliances. 

While we don't have a complete menu for the location yet, we know that it will serve “tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats” and is the first in a multi-year strategic alliance with Mini Babybel, which has also been named the Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, and Disney Cruise Line.

“At Bel Brands USA, we are all about sharing smiles and we are delighted to bring that to life through our alliance with Disney,” said Francis Perrin, chief marketing officer of Bel Brands USA, makers of Mini Babybel cheese. “We believe Mini Babybel makes snack time an adventure in deliciousness for the whole family every day and now we can share that fun and great taste with even more families as they enjoy adventures of their own at Disney Parks.”

Once opened in Summer 2018, Toy Story Land will also be home to two major attractions.

Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster themed as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys. The attraction’s ride vehicles, inspired by the character of Slinky in the film, will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops Andy has created to stretch Slinky’s coils to the max.

Alien Swirling Saucers, is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle using “The Claw.”

You can stay connected with icFlorida on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more Toy Story Land and attraction news!

Delta hiring 1,000 flight attendants

Delta Air Lines is hiring more than 1,000 flight attendants.

>> Read more trending news

The average entry-level flight attendant at Delta earns about $25,000 a year, “with an opportunity to earn more depending upon schedule,” according to airline officials.

Officials with Atlanta-based Delta said applicants must have a high school degree or GED, be at least 21 years old, be able to work in the United States and be fluent in English.

The ideal candidate is also fluent in a language other than English, has education beyond high school and more than a year of experience in customer service, patient care or a similar role. Other experience that helps includes work to ensure the safety or care of others, such as a teacher, military, EMT, firefighter, coach, law enforcement, lifeguard or nurse, according to Delta officials.

Airline officials said 150,000 people applied for about 1,200 flight attendant positions last year, and fewer than 1 percent of applicants were selected.

Delta officials said “based on those odds, it’s easier to get into an Ivy League school than to become a Delta flight attendant.”

To learn more about Delta’s flight attendant jobs, click here.

17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

Less than a week ago, residents in 22 states were panicking over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification for residents.

>> Read more trending news 

A report earlier this week named 22 states that would face conflict next year for not providing standard ID cards to residents that are compliant with the REAL ID Act. Officials with the Transportation Security Administration were instructed to allow only travelers with REAL ID-compliant identification through airport security and onto domestic flights in the U.S. starting Jan. 22, 2018. 

Previous report: Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Twenty-seven states currently provide residents with standard, compliant IDs. Residents in the remaining states were to obtain passports, enhanced driver’s licenses and other forms of acceptable identification if they wished to travel within the country and abroad. 

But 16 states were granted extensions Wednesday, meaning states have more time to craft, fund and offer compliant IDs to their residents. 

>> Related: What is Real ID; is your state compliant; what if it isn’t?

The following states were granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018: 

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington

Virginia was granted the same extension last week. 

The remaining states are still under review for a renewed extension to REAL ID enforcement: 

  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in an effort to strengthen identification rules at airports. The 9/11 Commission recommended it to the federal government to set standards for how IDs –- such as driver’s licenses -– are issued. 

The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses. Under the law, state driver's licenses and ID cards have to be issued only to people who can prove they are legally living in the United States. If state licenses don’t meet the standards, then federal agencies -– such as the TSA -- will not accept them.

Despite all extensions, there is a hard deadline for states to require compliant REAL IDs: Oct. 1, 2020.

“There are no anticipated changes to the enforcement schedule, and we are tracking that by 2020, 15 years after this act has been passed, that DHS will require that all states are compliant with Real ID as per federal law,” DHS spokeswoman Justine Whelan said, according to The Washington Post

Ashli Blow contributed to this report.

Despite hurricanes, Caribbean still a popular travel destination

It’s been about a month since a trio of hurricanes barreled through the Caribbean and Florida, destroying many popular vacation spots.

Despite all the damage, the majority of destinations are open for business and need visitors to return.

A travel group just produced a video called “One Caribbean Family” that drives home the theme that the islands are still beautiful and welcoming.

>> Read more trending news 

Maryella Blundo, of Dream Come True Travel, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said there are 30 islands open for business and fully functional.

Every day, she receives updates from hotel vendors listing all the hotels that are accepting reservations.

The storms did devastate spots like Puerto Rico, St. Martin and the Virgin islands.

Many, however, fared much better.

“Aruba, Jamaica,” Blundo said. “You have places like Trinidad and Tobago that were virtually untouched. There’s Curacao. There’s Bonaire. There’s the Bahamas.”

Although parts of Florida are still cleaning up, many locations are ready for visitors.

Javier Rosenberg graduated from the hospitality program at Boston University and now runs three hotels in Florida.

One is in Naples, and two are in the Florida Keys.

"It's quite different where you look,” he said. “Miami, for example, I would say the East Coast is pretty much back to normal in many ways. On the West Coast, which suffered a more direct impact from Hurricane Irma, I think you will still see a number of hotels are closed.”

Rosenberg is happy with the pace of the cleanup and says tourist areas got priority.

“If you are planning to go down to Florida in December, January, or February, I think you have to ask a few great questions just to make sure you are comfortable,” Rosenberg said. “In some of the Keys, you want to make sure you have enough restaurant options that are open.”

There may be an opportunity to get a deal in the Sunshine State.

“In the next few months, you probably will see some specials as hotels, and I think destinations, try to get people comfortable with the idea of coming back, so I think there are some great deals and opportunities out there,” Rosenberg said.

At Boston Logan International Airport, most travelers said they’d be willing to go south in a few months to get a reprieve from a Boston winter.

One woman said, “Obviously, it’s pretty tragic what happened there, but I don’t think that I would have any reason not to go.”

“I would still go," one man said. "They are still safe to travel to. I would, but if you had the money to go to the Caribbean, then do it, but Florida is definitely a good option.”

Maryella Blunda told WFXT that she doesn’t expect to see deep discounts in the Caribbean.

She said some resorts are offering perks like spa discounts, but that’s about it.

If you aren’t interested in the Caribbean this year, she suggests checking out Costa Rica and Panama.

Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Oct. 19, 1:30 p.m. ET -- UPDATE: 

Residents in 22 states were panicking earlier this week over the possibility that their state-issued ID cards would be insufficient to access domestic flights next year. Many thought they would need passports to travel between states.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has now approved requests for an extension, granting 17 states more time to provide appropriate, REAL ID-compliant identification for residents.

>> Read more trending news 

Twenty-seven states currently provide residents with standard, compliant IDs. Seventeen states were granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018.

>> Which states do not provide REAL ID-compliant IDs? Read more: 17 states granted extension for REAL ID compliance; Driver's license OK for domestic travel 

ORIGINAL STORY:

The deadline is approaching for nearly two dozen states that have yet to update state IDs in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005.

As a result, residents in those states may have to present a valid U.S. passport or other identification -- instead of previously used driver’s licenses or IDs -- to travel within the U.S. and beyond. 

Travelers who live in the following states could be affected: 

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina 
  • Washington

Residents of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands could also be affected, as could those from Virginia.

The REAL ID Act, which “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, ... established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards,” according to the Department of Homeland Security. The act came after 9/11 as an effort to ensure safer travel within the U.S. 

According to consumer expert Clark Howard, despite the fact that Congress passed the act more than 10 years ago, enforcement of the new regulations wasn’t pushed until 2013.

Twenty-six states have provided residents with federally compliant driver’s licenses or IDs. 

For those that have not, beginning Jan. 22, other forms of identification that will be accepted by Transportation Security Administration at airports for travelers living in the above listed states will be a permanent resident card/green card or a military ID. Other forms of acceptable identification are listed on the official TSA website.

Those who visit airports starting Jan. 22 without acceptable identification will not be allowed through airport security.

Some states have started working to provide residents with other forms of federally approved identification that would allow travelers to avoid ordering a passport for domestic travel, Forbes reported. For example, those in Washington have the option to apply for enhanced driver’s licenses, which adhere to the REAL ID Act specifications but cost significantly more than regular IDs.

Travelers are encouraged to check with local government officials for any potential options. 

Some of the states under review are scrambling to update state IDs to meet compliance standards in the next three months, and others have requested REAL ID compliance extensions from the Department of Homeland Security. Virginia residents have been granted an extension for REAL ID enforcement until Oct. 10, 2018. Budget shortages have delayed some states, including Oklahoma, from making the ID updates. 

Despite all extensions, there is a hard deadline for states to require compliant REAL IDs: Oct. 1, 2020.

“There are no anticipated changes to the enforcement schedule, and we are tracking that by 2020, 15 years after this act has been passed, that DHS will require that all states are compliant with Real ID as per federal law,” DHS spokeswoman Justine Whelan said, according to The Washington Post

“It is a critically important 9/11 Commission recommendation that others have been willing to ignore, but I will not,” John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s former homeland security secretary and current chief of staff, said in June. “I will ensure it is implemented on schedule -- with no extension -- for states that are not taking it seriously.”

Those who live in one of the states that do not have TSA-compliant IDs may want to consider ordering a passport sooner rather than later. It generally takes four to six weeks to process passport orders, according to the Department of State.

Read more here and here.

A previous version of this story reported travelers in nine states would potentially need passports or other forms of identification for domestic flights in 2018.

Fido’s first trip: Disney visitors can bring dogs to some Walt Disney World hotels

Move over Pluto, and maybe Goofy, there will be some new dogs in town at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Officials with Disney Parks announced Friday that people staying at four of its hotels on the property can now bring their dogs with them to the hotel, instead of putting them at either a kennel on the property or making other arrangements for their four-footed friends.

>> Read more trending news

As of Sunday, guests at Art of Animation, Port Orleans Riverside, Yacht Club and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness can bring their dogs, for a fee.

For all but one resort, the fee is $50 a night. At the Yacht Club, the fee is $75 a night.

And Disney will be providing a little magic for the canine family members.

They will have what is called Pluto’s Welcome Kit waiting for them. It will include a mat, bowls, ID tag, plastic waste bags, puppy pads and dog-walking map. There will also be a Pluto “Do Not Disturb” door hanger to alert housekeeping and other staff members that there is a dog in the room.

There will also be merchandise opportunities at the hotel gift shops eventually.

Dogs must be vaccinated, well-behaved and leashed in public areas.

For more information call 407-W-DISNEY. Members of Disney’s Vacation Club are instructed to call Member Services at 800-800-9800.

Flight 666 on Friday the 13th arrives in HEL for the last time 

All you superstitious Friday the 13th people can breathe a small sigh of relief.

» RELATED: Friday the 13th: What’s so unlucky about 13?

Flight 666, which departed on the 13th hour of Oct. 13 and headed straight for HEL (Helsinki, Finland), has arrived safely and ahead of schedule.

According to airline Finnair, Oct. 13, 2017 would be the last time Flight AY666 would fly to HEL on Friday the 13th.

In the past 11 years, the airline has assigned the “number of the beast” to Helsinki on Friday the 13th a total of 21 times.

As the airline begins to re-number the flights, Flight 666 will soon become Flight 954.

» RELATED: Friday the 13th falls in October: How rare is it?

“But remember, we still have a flight from SIN to HEL,” company officials wrote.

SIN is the airport code for Singapore Changi International Airport.

>> Read more trending news

Paris plans to ban all gas cars by 2030

France’s capital city, the world’s most visited city, according to Reuters, plans to ban all petrol and diesel-fueled vehicles by 2030, officials announced Thursday. Paris will encourage commuters who don’t walk, bike or use public transportation to switch to electric cars.

>> Read more trending news

The move is, in part, a pollution-reducing effort.

“This is about planning for the long term with a strategy that will reduce greenhouse gases,” Christophe Najdovski, a transportation policy official for the city of Paris, told France Info radio. “Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers ... So we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030.”

According to the CBC, city officials said it was introducing a “feasible and realistic” goal of phasing out of gas vehicles instead of calling the move a “ban” on such cars.

Paris has seen significant amounts of rising air pollution in the last few years. In response, Paris Mayor Ann Hidalgo and government officials have approved “no-car zones, car-free days and fines for drivers who enter the city in cars that are more than 20 years old,” Reuters reported. Officials have also approved days of free public transportation, introduced rentable bikes and electric cars in the city and banned traffic from the popular Champs-Elysees Avenue once a month, among other measures. 

Officials hope that France as an entire country will ditch cars dependent on fossil fuels by 2040.

“This government goal affects the whole French territory, rural zones included,” a Paris City Hall statement said. “If we want to achieve this, it implies that the end of diesel and gasoline should take place several years in advance in urban areas, and particularly in big cities.”

Oxford, England, recently announced plans to ban non-electric cars from parts of the city by 2020.

Paris will host the Olympic Games in 2024. There are about 32 million household cars in France, according to the London Evening Standard.

>> Related: Los Angeles to host 2028 Summer Olympics; Paris wins 2024 Games

Southwest says aloha to Hawaii

It has been years of consumers asking, but now it will become a reality. Southwest Airlines is expanding its service to Hawaii.

>> Read more trending news 

The company made the announcement Wednesday in a reply to a tweet from 2008.

The company has not said what routes it will fly, but will start selling trips to the islands next year, USA Today reported.

Southwest is also apparently looking at flights between the islands, not just from the mainland to Hawaii, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.

The airline made the announcement in advance of filing its application to get the Federal Aviation Administration’s ETOPS certification. ETOPS stands for extended twin operations, and it checks out how far a plane can be away from land and over water if an engine fails.

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