Interesting. But wrong.
I don’t pay for most of my travels. My clients do nowadays. But I have a strong influence on their choices! The only limit is when prices are too different (had to fly LH lately to KSA because BA was much more expensive).
When I used to work in a company, I still had leeway.
So, yes, I consider I have a say even-though I don’t pay! And, yes, the program counts, in my case more for the immediate perks (lounges, fast-tracks, …) than for the milages.