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Why do Google and KLM give different arrival times?

Google says KL 681 will arrive at 1:41 PM, but KLM says 2:23 PM...

This afternoon I will pick up a friend from the airport, so at breakfast I checked Google to see what time the plane will arrive. Scott, who was eating his oatmeal next to me, wanted to see where the plane was at that moment, so I showed him the location of the plane on the KLM website. However, then I noticed that there was a difference in arrival time of more than 40 minutes between KLM and Google.

Google says KL 681 will arrive at 1:41 PM, but KLM says 2:23 PM...

I assumed it was just a glitch that would be gone after refreshing the page or by just waiting 10 minutes, but that was not the case. It’s now about 5 hours later and both sites still show a different arrival time. Who should I believe? If Google is right I need to leave 40 minutes earlier than planned, but if KLM is right and I leave early I have to wait 40 minutes at the airport.

I normally use Google for arrival information and so far they have always been right, but because this is a KLM flight I would assume KLM’s information is more accurate. I wonder where they get their data from, I guess there should only be one feed for this information (the plane’s on-board computer)?

Update:  KLM’s information was right and Google was wrong, the flight landed at 2:22 PM. Good to know for the future. I still don’t understand why they give different arrival times though. Even after the plane had landed Google still showed 1:41 PM, and for tomorrow’s flight it now shows 1:49 PM, even though the flight has not even departed yet.

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  1. You can also try the website (and app) flightradar 24. This website follows airplanes in realtime via the signal the plane’s transponder is sending. That should really gives you the real time. It is also fun to see how many planes are in the air (and on the ground) at any given time.I use it to follow flights I need/want to follow.