Airlines to add first-class seats to regional planes

The major U.S. airlines are adding first-class sections to their smaller regional planes that are increasingly being used for longer hauls.

CNN reported Tuesday that US Airways said it would put eight to nine first-class seats on US Airways Express jets that have more than 50 seats. The airline joins American, Delta and United airlines in making the move.

Regional jets have long been a staple of flights between smaller airports and airlines' major hubs at international airports, but as gas prices have risen and demand for flights declined during the recession, airlines began also using them for more traditional routes.

CNN said adding upgraded seats to its regional planes would increase the number of US Air flights operating with a first-class section from 40 to 61 percent.