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Valets Skirt Lines for Fliers on Richest U.S. Air Route

Airlines are stepping up competition for full-fare passengers between New York and Los Angeles, with lie-flat seats, pricey French wines and personal valets to whisk travelers from curb to gate without wasting time in lines.

The latest dogfight over first- and business-class fliers involves five carriers on the most lucrative U.S. route. Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines and United Airlines are expanding space for high-end customers and offering goodies once reserved for international trips, such as mini-suites.