I can't believe that given the current economy and tighter restrictions by companies on employees travel expenses that Marriott would go out of their way to treat their best customers with this BOGUS explanation about dropping "Black Out dates" to make the program better. I believe that most elite members planned their reward trips well in advance to avoid points penalties. Pure and simple this change is a devaluation in the REWARDS program. I often go 10-20 miles out of my way to stay at a Marriott property, when I travel for business. I drive past many Starwood and Hilton properties on the way to my Marriott . WHY? I have done it because I have been loyal to this chain and this program and the rewards it offers for 25 years. NO MORE... I am a Lifetime Platinum member and will begin to vote with my travel dollars by staying at Starwood and Hilton properties until Marriott reconsiders these devaluations in what was the best program in the Hotel Industry !