Like many, I got the Chase BA Visa way back when they were offering a 100K signup bonus. Since then the miles... er, sorry, Avios... have been sitting in my account because I'm too cheap to pay BA's extortionate fuel surcharges. I'd seen several bloggers and commenters mention that Avios were great for shorthaul partner awards, but, until now, I'd not had the opportunity to find out for myself.
I'm currently planning a trip to Peru in a couple of months. My original plan was MGM-DFW-LIM-CUZ on a mix of AA and LAN flights, but AA had no availability for the DFW-LIM segment. So, I searched Delta and after a little wheeling and dealing, I had enough Skymiles for MGM-ATL-LIM. The problem was that Skyteam had no partners offering the LIM-CUZ route. So, it was back to OneWorld and LAN.
Unfortunately, neither the AA nor BA websites would allow me to search for LAN availability intra-Peru. So, I went to the phones. AA had the flights I needed for 24K + around $50. Not bad, but I decided to see if BA could beat it. I called up and, Bob's your uncle, had two RT tickets for LIM-CUZ at a smashing $27.30tax + 18k Avios. Deal! It's sad when I'm happy about getting just over 2cpm value out of my miles. Interestingly, I was prepared for a $25 telephone booking charge that the BA website warned me about. However, I was not charged the fee for whatever reason. Now if I can just figure out the bloody Machu Picchu ticket website!