Hotels getting hacked + CDC Zika virus alert

sleeping on airplanes

Two stories I worked on for NBC News this week are tied to news about extra precautions travelers need to take while on the road.

For a story about hotels where data breaches and data-stealing malware have put guests’ credit card and other important information at risk, I talked to data security experts and checked up on what major chains, including Hyatt, Hilton , Starwood, Mandarin Oriental, Trump and others were doing to find and put a stop to the hacking.

Two babies

And in this story about the CDC’s travel alert about the Zika virus, I explored just the beginnings of the toll the tourism industry may take from advisories urging pregnant women and those hoping to be pregnant to take avoid traveling to areas of Latin America and The Caribbean where the virus has been spreading.

Health officials aren’t yet sure why, but believe the Zika virus can cause a catastrophic birth defect called microcephaly.

Get a flu shot at these airports


Flu season is here and if you spend time on planes or in airports, it’s a good idea to get a flu shot.

No time for that?

Not if you’ve got a few extra moments to stop by one of these airport clinics:

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is partnering with the Cleveland Department of Public Health and offering complimentary flu shots post-security at Gate C2 on November 2 and November 17 from 8 a.m. to noon, local time.

At O’Hare International Airport, travelers can stop in for a flu shot at the O’Hare Medical Clinic (773-894-5100; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) post-security, in Terminal 2 near the “Kids on the Fly” play area.

To make it even easier to get your flu shot on the fly, the O’Hare clinic operates temporary flu shot kiosks in concourse corridors in Terminals 1 and 3.

At San Francisco International Airport, flu shots are available at the SFO Medical Clinic, (650-821-5600; Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the International Terminal Main Hall, pre-security. (Validated parking is offered as well.)

Flu shots are available at the CareHere! Walk-in Clinic and Wellness Store (615-275-1820; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), post-security near the Concourse C exit at Nashville International Airport.

You can also get a flu shot at the McCarran Medical Clinic and Pharmacy in McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (702-261-6707; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

The LAS clinic is located in Terminal 1 (pre-security, near the A/B gates, next to the Wells Fargo bank) and, among other services, can help with hangover relief.

In a pinch, you can also get a flu shot at a clinic located nearby an airport terminal, including the 24-hour Reliant Immediate Care (310-215-6020), a short walk from Los Angeles International Airport and at New York’s JFK International Airport, where complimentary shuttle service is offered to JFK Advanced Medical P.C., (718-656-9500) which is also open 24 hours a day.

So no excuses! Go get a flu shot.

Rocking around Boston Logan Airport

There are lots of airports that have rocking chairs scattered about these days, but at Boston Logan International Airport many of the chairs have been painted by local artists.

I spotted this one recently on my way to an early morning flight in Terminal B.

Logan Chair

I bet these ladies would have loved to spend their dwell time in a rocking chair, but I spotted them at Boston’s North Station – which only has hard wooden benches.

Train station ladies

Healthy Airports

BOS_KIOSK with Walking tips

You can certainly spend you airport dwell time sitting in one place, eating junk food and being stressed out. But, as I detail in a story for the new Basil Health newsletter, you have better options.

According to the 2014 Airport Food Review from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 75 percent of airport restaurants now offer healthy meals. There are also plenty of ways to stay active inside most airports.


San Francisco International Airport, which opened the first airport yoga room in Terminal 2 back in 2012 and has been joined by Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, by Vermont’s Burlington International Airport and a few others.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the many airports with great art and a marked walking path and, along with Atlanta and Philadelphia airports, home to a branch of Minute Suites (in Terminal D) offering daybeds for napping or relaxing and workstations for connected leisure or working.

And Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), which offers a full-service medical clinic (flu shots, anyone?), an aviation-themed children’s play area and an indoor, aeroponic garden.

For more healthy airports, with art, good food, music, work-out options and more, see my story on Basil Health and sign up for their newsletter, where I hope to have more stories about how to stay healthy in airports.

At MSP Airport: Treadmill Desks!


Here’s a great new airport amenity: treadmill desks!!

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport already has a 1.4 mile walking loop – now it has treadmill workstations as well.

The three stations are free to use – for 15 minutes at a time – and each has a maximum speed of 2 miles per hour, with a desk, a device charging station and free internet access. One workstation is in the Concourse F Service Center across from Gate F3 and two are on Concourse C across from Fox News near Gate C12.

In the first week the walking workstations were installed over 500 people took a stroll, so let’s hope the airport decides to keep the machines on site beyond the initial 6-month lease.