Quick tip: Calling British Airways UK from a UK number

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Aside from British Airways' outrageous fuel surcharges, they also have the audacity to wring out more pennies by making you pay national rates to call them.

 

The 0844 part of the number signifies the national calling rate

When you try to call their “outside the UK” number from a normal landline or mobile phone it's blocked. Presumably to protect their revenue stream from phone calls. It's ultra frustrating because I have a load of free minutes on my mobile and 0844 or 0845 numbers are not included in the price plan.

Well here are two options on how to shove two fingers at British Airways.

1) Call through Skype. (If you have got a plan which covers telephone calls, otherwise a landline is cheaper)

2) append “141” to the front, so you end up dialling “141 0191 490 7901”. This method witholds your number and location so they can't trace that you're calling from within the UK.

The second option works especially well with mobile phones, and then your call becomes included in your free minutes.

As I always say: When there's a will, there's a way!

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  1. Can’t help but be forced to correct you here – you are getting rather sensationalist! Calling a 0844 49 number is 5.11p/min 24/7 from a BT landline. It is designed to be a local rate number that businesses can use, and that are compatible with call holding systems. Local and national rates range from 5.4p to 13.8p at peak, and calling this number from Skype actually costs 8.1p/min. Of this 5.11p, the business sees maybe a penny a minute (admittedly making what you said true, as long as you take it literally) – a tenth of minimum wage. The real target of your anger should not be British Airways (if they did actually want to screw you over, they’d have used an 09 number) but the mobile operators. They refuse to add these numbers to our minutes – and charge a whopping 25p/min to call them!

    • Yes and no. British Airways could have chosen to use the 0191 number to begin with or to not block incoming domestic calls. Most other large companies who provide 0844 and ‘from overseas’ numbers don’t usually have this same obstruction. That restriction is not chosen by phone network operators but by the client.

    • Found your points very helpful. Called BA using the 141 prefix which worked a treat. Ignore previous comments, 8.1p is a lot to pay per minute! Why should any potential customer PAY for the admin costs of the supplier?!

  2. Can’t help but be forced to correct you here – you are getting rather sensationalist! Calling a 0844 49 number is 5.11p/min 24/7 from a BT landline. It is designed to be a local rate number that businesses can use, and that are compatible with call holding systems. Local and national rates range from 5.4p to 13.8p at peak, and calling this number from Skype actually costs 8.1p/min. Of this 5.11p, the business sees maybe a penny a minute (admittedly making what you said true, as long as you take it literally) – a tenth of minimum wage. The real target of your anger should not be British Airways (if they did actually want to screw you over, they’d have used an 09 number) but the mobile operators. They refuse to add these numbers to our minutes – and charge a whopping 25p/min to call them!

    • Yes and no. British Airways could have chosen to use the 0191 number to begin with or to not block incoming domestic calls. Most other large companies who provide 0844 and ‘from overseas’ numbers don’t usually have this same obstruction. That restriction is not chosen by phone network operators but by the client.

  3. So if you ring the number without the 141, it doesn’t tell you that you are blocked. It just says lines are busy and hangs up. Add the 141 and you get through straight away. Thanks Tim, very helpful tip.

    • That’s changed in recent times then. It used to be they said clearly “Sorry, this number is not available from within the UK” or something similar. Very misleading.

  4. hello i neeed to get the phonenumber to brittish airway , but i am calling from norway.can someone help me to get this number.is urgent thanks,,Jan in Norway

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