Perhaps 'trick' would be a better term in this airport case. I guess the difference between a trick and a hack is that you can't trick a machine (it does what it's told and doesn't care what your intentions are) but you can certainly trick people (they can be fooled in to misreading your intentions and responding dynamically). Also a trick is usually just about improving device utility rather than re-purposing it.
But clearly "hacking" can be used for things other than computer related stuff, and I feel like calling a clever trick "hacking" is less harmful (well, it's even harmless IMHO). Getting back to your comment, I feel that here it is a valid usage of the word. Take something similar for instance: calling Steal This Book  a kind of society hacking cookbook (it is mostly outdated though) feels completely right to me.
Defending the meaning of the word may be important, but wanting to restrain its usage all the time is useless and counterproductive.
Personal story: Bringing liquids to airplanes is not allowed in Iran. I remember on our flight back from Shiraz, we brought about 8 liters of rose water, orange blossom water, etc. with us. The security saw it in the screen and asked what the liquid was. "Herbal water", I said. He nodded and called, "Next". Didn't even open the bottles to make sure.
Also many people bring back several liters of water from the holy Well of Zamzam in their flight back from Mecca. The record I've heard of was 40 liters.
Last time I was there, after handing my bags over I got called to the inspector's room. They'd x-rayed my bags and seen a cigarette lighter . I have no idea how they recognized it as such, but they pointed to the area in my bag where it had been seen, and asked me to open the bag and remove it.
On another flight, we were all waiting in line to check-in, but the agents hadn't shown up. Somebody gave up on waiting, and just left their bags sitting in line - this while the recording about unattended bags was playing (yes, they've got that in China, too). It was funny to watch everyone in the line studiously ignoring the unattended bag, for fear that they'd shut down the terminal while calling the bomb squad, and we'd all miss our plane.
 I don't smoke, but it's in my first aid kit for sterilizing a needle.
it gives people the illusion that they're safe even though the actual incident which prompted the creation of the TSA and DHS has been ridiculously under-investigated and official conclusions' are full of holes.
Security wasn't unpleasant, but it took a while, there was a long and slow moving line. We had to discard lighters and show passports, but the latter is par for the course in China. It feels like the Chinese are slightly more overbearing with foreigners, which helps, since there's a huge language barrier.
We where lugging a flight case of cymbals, which got quite a lot of attention and laughter from the operators going through the x-ray.
So, same question, and this time really think about it: you are capable of keeping an eye on a limited number of potential threats, you can never completely disprove that any individual means you harm, but you have to look as carefully as you can at the most plausible threats in the time you have available. How suspicious is my behavior, and what evidence would it take to convince you that my threat is negligible? What about the idea that you might personally be blamed if you cleared me and I later turned out to be a terrorist: does that affect your calculations? If so, is that in the best interests of the airport, or just you personally?
That assumes that on-scene guards ask questions of the subject before reporting observed suspicious behavior (which may or may not be the case, and is even less likely the case in the event that the "guards" that observe the behavior are automated face/gait/etc. recognition systems looking for unusual patterns.)
Good story about buying a suit at 6 am: "Upon exiting customs, I was greeted (by name) by a number of large men holding submachine guns (rare in UK)."
In January 2004 I took my mum to Disneyland Paris.
Someone had accidentally left their luggage next to the belts below the customs booths.
The airport was shut down and cleared on that level, whilst a brave man with a machete hacked carefully at the bag to discover sausages.
There was a story a few years back when Delta and some others started doing boarding by zones. People were doing online checking, saving their printable ticket as a PDF or whatever, and editing that file to change the "Zone 4" text/image to "Zone 1", and then getting early boarding.
If you travel with any regularity you soon realize that all these special checks and verifications are pretty weak. Even when you are in a place that DOES use the barcode reader to pull the data, it wouldn't be that hard to hack the barcode. The reader devices appear to be non-networked, so they are just scanning a code and displaying text. I haven't personally tried it, but that kind of "encryption", if there is any, is pretty easy to reverse engineer. You can have multiple data samples (tickets), and you know at least some of the key info contained within (passenger name, flight info, etc.) and you can experiment endlessly until you figure it out.
They have special space for "checked carryon." they ticket it with a special ticket and put it in a SEPARATE part of the plane. When you unload the flight attendants get the "checked carryon" and put it next to the door, then you grab it on your way out.
I sat on the front of a small plane before and there was no space for carryon at all on that seat. There was no seat in front to put it under, and the overheads on that seat had a bunch of flight attendant stuff in them. Being the first on the plane wouldn't have enabled me to avoid the "checked carryon."
And for the other comment above, the plane certainly WILL leave without you.
I travel 60-100K miles per year.
The only exception is really if you're by the emergency exits - then you're not allowed to have anything that could obstruct or confuse people when they make their way to the emergency exit.
What I was trying to say is that I've found it unusual that I've not been able to put my carry-on baggage under the chair in front of me and I have not noticed the flight crew having to handle any other options than the two above.
There are also budget airlines that don't offer reserved seating (e.g. EasyJet and Ryanair in Europe - I think, I don't fly these airlines though), so priority boarding on them allows you to chose a seat, or to ensure you sit next to whoever you're traveling with.
I saw at least one case where a checked-in passenger arrived around 7 min before the official departure time (he was in a bar) but the gates were already closed and they didn't let him in.
Someone even created a boarding pass generator to demonstrate their weakness. They promptly got their door busted in by the feds.
The last time I flew, they scanned my boarding pass at the security checkpoint and made a bunch of random marks all over it. I would be surprised if they accepted your second, unadulterated boarding pass at the gate.
You can try that but full refunds are unusual, normally there's a penalty fee. More than for preventing ripping off lounges, it's to prevent third parties from playing tricks on the seats' availability. Maybe it still pays off, have a look!
At least on United (not too familiar with other airlines' policies), full-fare tickets (Y, J, F) are refundable without a fee. If it was paid on a credit card, they'll typically just reverse the charge.
The 24 hour limit is for refunds on non-refundable fares. Most airlines will still let you cancel any ticket within the first 24 hours, even a discount fare (in the US, the DOT requires this for tickets booked at least 7 days in advance).
> Please submit the original source. If a blog post reports on something they found on another site, submit the latter.
Should this submission be amended to the URL and headline of the original article?
(Quite the circle by now)
I thought that was a classic red flag?
While I often just pack a carry-on bag for weekend trips, anything more than 2-3 days I'm checking a bag. I don't have to pay for it, my bags get priority-tagged so I don't have a long wait at the other end, and I've had to reroute due to weather at a connection twice in the past year, both of which I knew about before arriving at the airport.
So of the arguments raised against checking bags in the replies further down, none of them actually apply, and checking a bag means less stuff for me to lug around in the airports.
The choice of whether to check a bag or not is, thus, dependent on the specific passenger, the specifics of their trip, etc., and it is irresponsible and flat-out wrong to suggest otherwise, especially in such a "this is right and everything else is wrong" fashion.
I used to routinely fly with it on my person. I'd take it out of its sheath, put it in the basket for keys and change and such at the metal detector, and hand that to the uniformed agent standing there. I was never once challenged for this, or even looked askance at.
Your arguments are perfectly valid for some, but this is isn't a case of "this method is obviously right".
That's not so true in Europe, where many airlines have a quite strict size and weight limit (e.g. 8kg @ 55cm x 40cm x 20cm)
Sometimes you can pass people in the standby priority lines if they have bags.
It doesn't look like this is possible in the US though. I don't see an airline that offers their lounge just for having a first class ticket. Alaska even requires a ticket for the day you're there.
Then again, the food in US airline lounges leaves a lot to be desired. The free meal would probably just be cheese and crackers and carrot sticks...
Probably better to just hang out in a hotel lobby which has the same amenities and less hassles.
The real issue is the time involved though. A few hours is worth more than a couple dollars saved.