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American gives up more slots at Washington Reagan National

American Airlines Group, which includes American and US Airways, has arranged for the sale of eight more takeoff and landing slots at Washington D.C.’s close-in Reagan National Airport, marking the completion of the DCA slot divestitures order by the Justice Department as a condition to approving the AA-US Airways merger.

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Briefs: UA, DL add overseas routes; AirTran's days are numbered

In airport news, London Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 is expected to open to the public in June; international arrivals formalities for passengers at Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston Bush Intercontinental should go more smoothly thanks to new self-service kiosks; TSA adds PreCheck for international connecting travelers at Miami International; and US Airways moves at LAX.

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Virgin America brings social networking to the skies

Tech-savvy Virgin America Airlines has rolled out a new feature for  business travelers who like to network wherever they go — an app for person-to-person social networking with other passengers on the carrier.

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Briefs: AA will expand extra-legroom seats; Virgin alters change fees

In news of U.S. airlines, American plans to extend its extra-legroom seating to US Airways; Virgin America lowers some change fees, raises others; Southwest eyes expansion to airports where rivals are downsizing; and a new intrastate carrier is announced in Florida.

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Routes: UA's CLE cutbacks detailed; Alaska, DL add Seattle service

In route developments at U.S. airlines, details have emerged about United’s planned cutbacks at Cleveland; Delta and Alaska Airlines intensify their ongoing 'Battle for Seattle';  and American will drop a key Latin American route next year.

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Frequent flyer survey finds problems with US Airways' program

It’s probably a good thing that US Airways’ Dividend Miles program is being merged into American’s AAdvantage, based on the results of a frequent flyer survey; on the other hand, frequent travelers seem relatively happy with Southwest’s Rapid Rewards.

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Another carrier says pilot shortage will mean service reduction

Last week, we reported that a growing shortage of pilots at regional airlines has led to a cutback in service to some small communities by Great Lakes Airlines and was partially responsible for United’s decision to end Cleveland’s status as a connecting hub. And now another regional operator is blaming a pilot shortage for a downsizing of its fleet.

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Firm says January flight disruptions cost passengers billions

An unending series of winter storms and freezing weather during January came with some heavy costs, according to an analysis by masFlight, a data and software firm specializing in airline operations — and the costs to passengers were a lot higher than those of airlines.

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Briefs: AA expands code-sharing; Hawaiian adds extra-legroom seats

In airline news, American and US Airways have expanded their code-sharing program; Hawaiian will add extra-legroom seating on its A330s; and worldwide air travel demand is back to pre-recession growth rates.

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Airlines cite pilot shortage for service suspensions

A small carrier in the U.S. heartland has stopped flying to several towns, and United is sharply curtailing regional flights from Cleveland, in the first instances of what could be a serious pilot shortage affecting other companies, especially regional airlines.

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