Thomson and First Choice have introduced 24/7 online assistance via their combined social media customer service team to help consumers across different time zones.

The travel companies launched the online assistance on January 21, having previously offered the service from 8am until 8pm.

The social media customer service team, first established in September 2011, now has 12 advisors, two senior advisors and one manager all working shifts to be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the Thomson and First Choice Facebook and Twitter pages.

With more than 400,000 combined Facebook fans and over 26,000 Twitter followers, Thomson and First Choice said they are ensuring that all of their customers have the choice to contact an advisor through the channel most convenient for them.

John Boughton, director of ancillaries and commercial distribution at Thomson and First Choice, said: “We have seen a huge increase in customers wanting to contact us about their holiday through social media. As a company with thousands of customers all over the world at any one time, it’s not so surprising that there is this demand for contact 24 hours a day.

“We’ve traditionally met this demand via the phone, but customers are increasingly finding social media contact to be easier, quicker and less costly than a call.

“We’ve also seen that even before their holiday, customers are using social media to contact us with queries and questions, rather than calling us.

“Our move to having a 24/7 social media customer service team simply reflects this new demand and is one of the many ways we are modernising the holiday experience and service we offer our customers.”