What is a Hacker Fare On Kayak?

A good number of years ago (according to this blog post, 2011), Kayak rolled out a thing called ‘Hacker Fares’ on their search results. Around that time was probably when I became immensely interested in ‘travel hacking’ and finding cheap airfare by combining particular routeings or carriers. Here’s a quick overview on what a hacker fare on Kayak actually is and how to properly book one.

Example of a Hacker Fare on Kayak

Example of a Hacker Fare on Kayak

When trying to put together this blog post, I only had to search on Kayak twice in order to find a ‘Hacker Fare’. You can see from the screenshot above that I am looking for a return flight from Pittsburgh to Boston. If you look closer at the screenshot, you can see that the flights are on JetBlue and American Airlines with a greyed-out ‘Hacker Fare‘ under the total price.

Since the flight is operated by more than 1 carrier, it is considered a Hacker Fare.

There are some precautions and notes that Kayak includes – which are super helpful and shown below.


Essentially, you need to verify that both of those flights still exist for the price that Kayak shows. Again, since these are two different airline companies, you’ll be redirected to the JetBlue website and then to the American Airlines websites. If they both exist, then you need to quickly book one flight after the other.

If for some reason you book one flight and the other flight disappears, keep in mind that in the USA, you have a 24-hour cancellation policy. You can read more about that from the Department of Transportation here.

I’m glad that Kayak brought this search capability into their system to help people find cheaper airfare. However, just from a quick search on Momondo, I was able to find a much cheaper flight (below).

Momondo Flight Results

Momondo Flight Results

This is why it pays off to utilize multiple flight search engines to find the cheapest flights possible.

This is also why Momondo is quickly becoming one of my favorite flight search websites.

Hopefully, this brief post was able to inform you about what a hacker fare on Kayak actually is. As well as, showing you that searching on another flight engine is always a good idea.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.