I've been a very loyal Marriott customer for well over a decade and was hoping to actually use my Platinum status for a reservation NEXT YEAR. Apparently the hotel we're trying to book (Augusta Marriott) is completely sold out and there is a city wide blackout due to the Ironman 70.3 race that weekend (which is why I am there as well). The race is end of September 2015, so it's not like this is a last minute travel arrangement either. The main benefits guide lists nothing about any blackout dates or anything, so after doing some further digging I did see an exclusion for "certain special events" in the rules (although this is not immediately apparent when looking at the general benefits description). It does not appear that any rooms are even set aside for Platinum members during this time. The events coordinator was very nice and helpful, but apparently I am on the waiting list without any kind of guarantee at all that I will have a room during that weekend and it could be weeks before I would even hear back (depending on cancellations). I have to admit that this is extremely disappointing - the one time that I actually need the Marriott Rewards to be worth something I feel very much let down.