Along with a bazillion others travelling the world's fourth busiest air travel route, I flew from Melbourne to Sydney this week.
By utter fluke, the plane on the 14:00 flight from Melbourne was Qantas' first wifi-enabled plane. As the announcement came that we'd have free wifi for the duration of the flight once the final plane door was closed, I realised this only meant one thing -- that there was a chance to do a bit of testing.
I opened my browser and hit the Data Runs Deep homepage with some test traffic, taking this format:
The digits in the campaign are the time of the day. The flight took off just after 14:25 and the cabin door was closed just before 14:00.
Here's how the cities for each session were reported by Google Analytics:
The very first entry, 13:45, is on a normal 4G connection in Melbourne. The 13:58 entry is from the tarmac at Melbourne when the plane doors were closed and the Qantas in-flight wifi was enabled.
I'm pretty sure that the 15:15 was coming in to land, and by 15:48 I was on the train to Sydney CBD wondering why I was doing this with my life.
So there you have it -- Qantas in-flight wifi appears to declare its location as your destination city; either that, or all wifi-enabled flights will declare as Sydney for reasons best known to network admins.
Humankind's exploration of flight is all about heroic experiments and investigations, and I'm humbled and delighted to have contributed in this small, almost meaningless, way.