The Null Device


Travel search engine of the day: Adioso. This is a new natural-language-based flight search system. It differs from sites like Kayak in that, rather than accepting simple queries in a set of fields (origin, destination, dates), it accepts queries as natural-language sentences, and allows a good deal of fuzziness. So, for example, if you want to go from London for a weekend in Barcelona in late November, you can ask for "London to Barcelona weekend late November", or if you just want to get out cheaply, you can ask for "London to anywhere under GBP100".

Well, you can if your destination is supported. The site appears to be Australian, and thus Australia and popular destinations from there (south-east Asia, the UK and US, and places along the "Kangaroo Route" to London) are well supported, while Europe (minus sunny holiday spots) is a bit patchy. The site found no flights from London to either Berlin or Stockholm, and drew a blank altogether at Reykjavík (the closest match it could find was Tel Aviv; I guess that sort of sounds like Reykjavík, if you're shouting across a noisy room or something). Flights across Australia it handles well, though, finding better prices than Kayak. In any case, the site claims to be in beta (though whether it's an old-fashioned beta or a Google-style permanent beta is uncertain), so with any luck, they'll improve it.

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