Singer Gavin DeGraw performs on a LAX-bound Southwest Airlines flight

Southwest Airlines passengers traveling from Phoenix to LAX were treated to a mini-concert by singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw Wednesday. It was part of the airline's Live at 35 series.  Photo by Robert Casillas.

Southwest Airlines passengers traveling from Phoenix to LAX were treated to a mini-concert by singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw Wednesday, as part of the airline’s “Live at 35″ series. Photo by Robert Casillas.

Have you ever wondered about the acoustics at 35,000 feet?

Perhaps not. But some folks on a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles on Wednesday got a first-hand lesson in them. Gavin DeGraw, a singer-songwriter perhaps best known for composing theme music for the television drama “One Tree Hill,” played a two-song set when flight 425 reached its cruising altitude. He also had some fun, even climbing onto a seat for a short period.

Most of the passengers admitted to me that they had never heard of DeGraw, but that did not stop their excitement. They cheered after his set and then asked for autographs and pictures. DeGraw happily complied.

The sound quality, while not great, was not nearly as poor as I feared. Passengers could definitely hear the words through the public address system.

Here are some videos from the performance.

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Southwest plane at LGA lands without landing gear

UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting 10 people were injured, “though it appeared that none were serious.”

A Southwest Airlines 737 landed Monday evening without its front landing gear, according to reports.

It appears everyone is OK, but there are some pretty scary images and videos being shared on social media today. Here are some of them.

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In May, seven LAX flights were chronically delayed

If May’s data is any indication, you might want to avoid certain airline flight.

The U.S. Department of Transportation published a list this week of 170 flights that arrived 30 or more minutes late at least half the time in May.

The worst offender? A Go! flight operated by Mesa Airlines from Honolulu to Kona. It was at least 30 minutes late 80 percent of the time in May. The average delay was 69 minutes.

I was surprised to find some Southern California flights on the list, as our airport operations here are generally efficient. Here are the flights — all involved LAX — that made DOT list. (For this grouping, only 30 minute and greater delays are considered)

Carrier         Flight   Origin-Dest   Dept. time  % late flts Avg. Delay 
Southwest   3225       SJC-LAX         2000             60%          77 min.
Frontier        419         DEN-LAX         2055             55%          141
Southwest   1345       LAX-LAS          2145             55%            75
Southwest    655        SFO-LAX         1355             55%            60
Southwest    1345      SFO-LAX         1955             55%            72
American      2467      DFW-LAX        1715             52%            98
American      231        MIA-LAX            1800            52%            65

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Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways perform best in new survey

Newsflash: Travelers still don’t think very much of airlines.

Such is the conclusion of the American Customer Satisfaction Index annual survey released on Tuesday. Of the more than 40 industries surveyed by the group, only two — cable television companies and internet service providers — perform worse than U.S. airlines. Even the U.S. Postal Service performs better.

Overall, reviews of the airline industry improved 3 percent compared to the prior year, researchers reported. But passengers still complain about the usual stuff: crowded seating, increased fees, higher ticket prices and poor service. According to the report, business travelers tend to give airlines higher ratings then leisure travelers.

Travelers did tell researchers that airlines do some things well. Passengers tend to approve of relatively efficient check-in options as well as on-time performance.

JetBlue Airways ranked first in the survey, followed by Southwest Airlines. US Airways and United Airlines finished last.

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LAX to spend $4 billion on capital improvements. But what does that buy?

Los Angeles International Airport officials want to spend roughly $4 billion on capital improvements starting in fiscal year 2014 and lasting until fiscal year 2018.

What does all that money buy?

Los Angeles World Airports published a list last week, tucked inside a report to the Board of Airport Commissioners. The largest chunk of money (almost $2.5 billion) is going to improve terminals — everything from restroom upgrades to passenger boarding bridges. Other money will go to runway and taxilane improvements.

We’ve long known Southwest and Delta are getting terminal face-lifts. But It appears United Airlines is also getting some sort of terminal renovation. To my knowledge, nothing has been announced yet. But it’s there on the list. So you read it here first.

Want to the whole list LAX capital improvements?

Click below to see the full list  as detailed in the report.  (Warning, there’s some airport jargon here.) Keep in mind airport improvements are paid for using federal grants, passenger facility charges levied on tickets, airport bonds and airport revenue,  – not state or city taxes.

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