Okay, so we've just suffered the latest volley by AC against we "bottom feeders" i.e. those of us here on MP and over at FT who pay for our own flights and have no massive corporate companies or clients to foot our travel expenses. It strikes me odd that, given the whole purpose of FT, and Randy's successor MP, was to create a place where we could exchange information and strategies to maximize our earning of miles/points and status, while spending the least amount of money. (And on the other side of these programs, maximize the benefits from award redemptions.) So here's AC which has year by year been tightening the screws (hiring one of our number away to advise on these changes too) and reducing benefits on both sides of the equation: fewer mileage earning, upgrade eligible fares; higher fees and surcharges on award tickets as well as increasing mileage required. That same AC will be co-hosting this year's STARMegaDO5 in Toronto. How ironic that the airline that has been leading the charge against those of us who participate in these fora, should be spending thousands to wine and dine these same "bottom feeders" it so despises otherwise. Two years ago in Montreal, it was AE and AC who hosted this same group, and thereafter began the AE crusade of piling more and more charges on its award tickets, while AC promised to improve the elite tier program and ability to upgrade [by replacing certs with eCredits]. At least from that reception I have my 777 model that I won't be getting because I long ago gave up the quest for MM/lifetime Elite status (having flown over 1.25 million AC seat miles since the start of Aeroplan in 1984 and another 750K+ on CP but AC not recognizing flights from the first 4-1/2 years of Aeroplan nor any CP flown mileage, which is something no other MM program does). The model 777 appears now to be about the only tangible benefit of MM/lifetime Elite left, now that the benefits of that elite tier has been obliterated with upgrade copays and rejiggered upgrade-eligible fares. Wonder how the AC hosts will respond to questions about the changes from the handful of AC FFers (all but one I know who have left AC for UA) who'll be at their reception in Toronto?