This very late Whine Wednesdays touches the word that is often extremely misused when it comes to travel (and other applications as well) but must get the attention of some.
Why is the word “hack” nowadays used for things that have absolutely nothing to do with hacking… which by definition more or less means breaking into or gaining illicit access to a computer/network?
Here are some examples of travel related “hacking” that I have come across lately:
1. Hacking Paid Air Travel
One website advertises “hacker fares” that are merely one-way fares that airlines have filed that can be combined with other one-way fares. You don’t usually find these on airlines’ own websites but OTA’s such as Expedia and Orbitz (who even calls them a “hacker fare” in search results) are happy to put them together for you.
2. Hacking Award Travel
There are numerous examples here that come with the understanding of alliances, allowable routings, geographic regions, classes of travel, stopovers, and generally what programs allow and what they do not.
When someone uses words such as “hacks” or “secrets” on their websites and/or articles you should hold on to you wallet and run or in the case of website close the tab (don’t do it now though!).
People should understand that nothing really works without doing your homework first. I guess that these “hack” sites or articles appear to those that would like to master the loyalty programs and travel in general but are not willing to put up with the time required or want to feel they are getting a “leg up” on everyone else (including travel providers). I would imagine that this represents most of the population unfortunately.
I have encountered numerous occasions where I could have misapplied the word “hack” when it comes to a number of hotel promotions that can be combined (and probably were not meant to be). But I have decided that we do not use click-bait words such as this here on LoyaltyLobby.