It’s the most wonderful time of the year, well, until you end up with a nasty cold or the flu after a flight. With cold, flu and virus season rearing its ugly head, we want to let you know what spots you should avoid (or wipe down with an antibacterial wipe) the next time you’re in an airport.


Hot zones include many places we know harbor germs like toilet handles, kiosk screens, and handrails. But, the area that has the highest risk of making you sick is a something you can’t avoid — the plastic bins at security checkpoints.  With thousands of people loading their shoes, luggage, and who knows what else into those bins you can be taking home someone’s nasty cold (or worse) with you, especially since the bins are almost, well probably, never sanitized.


The CDC notes that the flu virus can hang out hard surfaces for up to two days giving the virus plenty of time to be transmitted from person to person which is a bit alarming. There are things you can do to be proactive about staying healthy, however, like washing your hands often, wiping down surfaces before you use them, and eating well.


TSA doesn’t have any plans for taking any extra precautions during peak cold and flu season, but they do recommend washing your hands after going through security or traveling with hand sanitizer.