Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) govern fundamental biochemical and cellular processes. lncRNA HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) represses gene expression through recruitment of chromatin modifiers. The expression of HOTAIR is elevated in lung cancer and correlates with metastasis and poor prognosis. Moreover, HOTAIR promotes proliferation, survival, invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance in lung cancer cells. Here we review the molecular mechanisms underlying HOTAIR-mediated aggressive phenotypes of lung cancer. We also discuss HOTAIR's potential in diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, as well as the challenges of exploiting HOTAIR for intervention of lung cancer.