[video_popup width="805" height="454" video_link="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udnaf-kusVU" video_image_link="https://www.tnooz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Thomas-Cook-690x300.png"]
Thomas Cook has unveiled a new service on Twitter that enables users to tweet a deal/offer request for a destination, and get an automatic reply with available offers.
The new service, known as 'Holidays to go' (Twitter handle: @TCOffers), encourages users to tweet their deal request for destinations by mentioning the Twitter handle. Upto three destinations can be mentioned in the tweet.
While the operator claims an "industry first", it is reminiscent of KLM's recent launch Local Eyes (@KLM_LocalEyes), an initiative where KLM employees across the globe take turn every week to tweet tips about a destination on requests from consumers via Twitter.
In addition, in early 2011 Skyscanner unveiled an initiative via @FlyScan encouraging people to tweet a flight request and get a tweet back with the best price available immediately.
The service scans for all tweets with the handle @TCOffers, and auto-tweets users with available offers.
If the automated system is unable to find a relevant offer to tweet, it sends the request to @ThomasCookCares team which will manually answer the query or find the right holiday deal.
It's interesting to note the age of the Twitter handle. Thomas Cook stopped using the handle @TCOffers in December 2012. It had previously been tweeting any holiday promotions from Thomas Cook.
On the company's decision to resume use of @TCOffers, group head of social media Jonathan Roberts says:
"The team decided to use this again as it was verified by Twitter, and feel it is a single place people can go to get all our offers as well as use it for ‘Holidays to go!
"The tweets were not automated (in 2012), it was a push channel, unless someone had a question, then we would answer."
The company promises a reply tweet (with offers/deals) in seconds. However, a tweet to @TCOffers for deal request to Maldives was not answered for more than 60 minutes.
Roberts told Tnooz that the service is experiencing huge volume of requests since today's launch and it has made the system to perform slow.
Related read: Twitter evolves as a strong platform for virtual travel concierge services