Pros: There are many ways to accumulate miles.
Cons: We have always been "lower-class" citizens when using miles.
We were some of the travelers to get "ash-trapped" by the Iceland volcano in April of 2010 that stopped all Atlantic air travel. While the airlines can't control natural disasters, they can absolutely affect how they handle passengers. We used AA miles for a trip to Europe - to celebrate our wedding anniversary. When flights finally began again, we called to get rebooked. The agent would first say, "Oh yes, we have space on X day." Then, inevitably, would say, "Wait, these are Award tickets. Let me talk to my manager." After a minute or two, the agent would come back and tell us that they could not get us on a flight for several more days. This scenario played out several times as we tried different agents. Why couldn't we have open seats? Because there are only a few AAdvantage customer seats on each flight. Normally, that's understandable, but when customers have already had to spend a thousand or more dollars extra being stuck in an expensive place (Paris), missing another week of work, and spending hundreds to kennel pets longer, every day matters. In such rare and extenuating circumstances, managers and agents should have the power to book miles customers - which are their most loyal - on non-award seats, just to help get us home. This was the point where American could have kept our business for years to come, instead of turning us off from all AA travel ever again. After 20 years as an AAdvantage member, I am no longer a loyal customer.