Avis Rent A Car System, LLC today unveiled a new online booking tool. Beginning this month, Avis customers can make, check or change their reservations online with any Internet-enabled portable device through a special version of Avis.com optimized for handheld devices.

"Portable digital assistants, telephones, Blackberries and other small communications technologies offer Internet connections that enable consumers to access information and services almost anywhere," said Bob Lambert, senior vice president of commercial sales for Avis Budget Group, parent of Avis. "By enabling Avis customers to make or change their Avis reservation from their handheld device, we're making it easier for them to save time and achieve their business travel objectives."

To use the new service, customers need to enter the standard Avis.com Internet address into the Internet browser address window on their handheld device. The Avis servers automatically recognize the information request as coming from a handheld device, and respond with only the minimum information fields and text messages necessary to make, check or change an Avis reservation.

"Accessing and using standard Web sites via a handheld device can be challenging. Pages take longer to load, and don't always look the same on the smaller screens of handhelds," said Lambert. "This new site has been designed specifically for the handheld's smaller screens and slower connectivity, making it quick and easy to enter your basic information and get a fast response."

The service provides the same functions available at Avis.com, including making new reservations, changing existing reservations, facilitating Avis Preferred and Avis First reservations, as well as requesting special equipment like the Avis Where2 GPS navigation system or Avis' various electronic toll collection solutions. "Avis.com for handheld devices is the latest in the long line of Avis technological innovations introduced to the vehicle rental industry," said Lambert. "From the introduction of car-side return check-in technology that created the industry's first true counter-bypass program to our exclusive Avis Connect portable Wi-Fi Internet service, Avis has always found new ways to use technology to enhance our customers' rental experience."