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The Ultimate Laughable “Hacker” Fare

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Written by Charlie

Find out what Kayak thinks is a hacker fare option for a simple transatlantic trip! They are definitely not always a great option!

If you use Kayak to search for flights, you may appreciate that it will attempt something called a “hacker” fare which will combine separate tickets into one price. You still need to book them, but it tells you what to purchase and which tickets are part of the various itineraries. It is certainly a help if you are used to just searching from your origination to destination and not searching for any other options. But, it can sometimes kick out quite laughable “hacker” fare itineraries, especially when you consider the price.

The Ultimate Laughable “Hacker” Fare

I was searching for some flight options for someone and when I switched it to economy, the screen was populated with “hacker” fares. These fares were laughable for two reasons – the price was quite a bit higher than the regular airline fares and the airlines that it combined. Even if the price had been $300 lower than the other option, I would never have selected this hacker fare. My selected search area was a simple Thessaloniki – Chicago/Detroit – Thessaloniki. Check out what they delivered to me!

hacker fare

Maps generated by Running with Miles using the
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copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

  • Fly from Thessaloniki to Berlin (SXF) on Ryanair – 2 hour layover
  • Fly from Berlin (SXF) to Oslo on Norwegian – 21 hour layover
  • Fly from Oslo to Las Vegas on Norwegian- 8 hour layover
  • Fly from Las Vegas to Chicago on Freedom
  • Total travel time on the outbound – 50 Hours
  • Fly from Detroit to Los Angeles on Spirit – 21 hour layover
  • Fly from Los Angeles to Copenhagen on Norwegian – 5 hour layover
  • Fly from Copenhagen to Berlin on Norwegian – 9 hour layover
  • Fly from Berlin to Thessaloniki on Ryanair
  • Total travel time on the inbound – 54 Hours
  • Total cost – $722

Does that itinerary look fun? 🙂 Definitely not and even more unattractive when you see that it is $150 more than a regular airline ticket – that allows 2 checked bags in economy! Since this hacker fare must be purchased as separate tickets by the user, that means the passenger needs to pay any checked bag fees for each part of the itinerary! So, it ends up costing way more than $150!

It is nice that Kayak gives these hacker fare options – I just wish there was something that would filter these insane options! 🙂 Maybe Kayak is thinking that people want to follow after Richard Quest in his trip around the world using low cost carriers!

What crazy hacker fare options have you seen from Priceline?

Sidebar: I take care to make sure that my titles aren’t all clickbaity so this one took some thought! I originally thought of “The Ultimate LOL Hacker Fare” but was afraid that people would think it involved a fantastic ticket with some new airline called LOL or to some distant destination! 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • So I take it you did not buy those tickets. Will you ever use the search engine again? I probably would. After all, only the Chicago Cubs win everything all the time.

    • No, I didn’t buy those! 🙂 But, they did give me the best price on the itinerary I really wanted (better than Orbitz or anyone else) so I am buying it through Kayak.