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September 29, 2004 12:02 AM

Broken: search results

travelocityI searched Travelocity for...

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

...and Travelocity couldn't find it. Even stranger, it suggested the same city as one of the "close matches":

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO has the following close matches. Please select one.  
      San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
      San Juan, Argentina (UAQ)
      Saint John, Canada (YSJ)



It's ignoring the country... I searched for Los Angeles, USA and it gave me a choice of the one in California, and the one in Chile.

Posted by: Alden Bates at September 29, 2004 01:50 AM

I'm not sure what's more broken: the fact that these search engines don't work properly, or the fact that people won't cease to be fascinated by posting them.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward at September 29, 2004 11:11 AM

It used to work as expected until maybe 5 years ago. One day I was surprised to search for "San Antonio, TX" and the computer ask me if I meant:

San Antonio, TX


San Antonio, Venezuela

Well, obviously, there is an exact match in their database - why does it even bother asking the user for clarification? I have already clarified which San Antonio I want by including ", TX" at the end of my search.

Now I just search for the IATA code "SAT".

Posted by: dege at September 29, 2004 04:17 PM

I had a simmilar issue with Amazons UK site this week, I had pre-ordered Rammstein's new CD Reise Reise and then a bit later I got an e-mail telling me that the item was not going to be available, and it suggested a simmilar item, which was the same exact thing I orginally ordered.

Posted by: Vic Z at September 29, 2004 04:29 PM

Well, the screenshot doesn't actually say it can't find it, it says that it found more than one city that matches. I think Mapquest does (or used to do) the same thing. How St John ended up in the list, I don't know, but I guess it translates the search, too! That would be kind of a nifty feature, in a different sort of search. I would agree that it's really unexpected behaviour. I think what it's really telling you is that you should visit New Brunswick (YSJ). ;) (I'm from NB)

Posted by: anitsirK at September 29, 2004 07:52 PM

San in English mean Saint.

Juan in English is translated to John.

I'd say the software was pretty damned smart.

Posted by: Lindsay at September 30, 2004 06:07 PM

Expedia does it all the time in thier map program... it has to be typed EXACTLY like they want it or it WILL come up with the same city as an 'Alternative' Hey, you can't blame the Puters, blame the idiot that programed them!

Posted by: Mik at October 5, 2004 05:21 PM

It looks to me like that was the results for San Juan, and it's not that Travelocity "couldn't find it."

Not too broken.

Posted by: ben at November 19, 2004 09:27 AM

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