the economy has affected a lot of travel patterns ....both corporate and personal. If you are one of those who travelled less in 2011, and think you may have lost your status level as a result...you may be interested to know:
1) many times Marriott will look at a 3 year pattern in determining stays. If you have been Plat for several years, and just barely missed this year.....Marriott may reward you for continuing loyalty by "gifting" you Plat status for another year.
2) I have never seen Marriott drop travelers with history of loyalty more than one level. Been Plat for years, but your travel pattern changed so much in 2011 that you only earned Silver? Chances are you will only drop to Gold, again a "gift" from Marriott for your long term loyalty.
Are these published, permanent policies? NO. Will it happen all the time to everyone - NO. If you have only a one year history with Marriott, will it happen to you - probably NOT. There does not seem to be a hard rule on this, it seems to be taken more on a case by case basis.
A close friend was certain he missed GOLD by a few nights....and called Customer Service yesterday on another issue. They told him he had been renewed at Gold through 2013...so for some customers, it appears records have already been updated. (new levels generally aren't posted on line till Feb).
Think you lost status? Can't hurt to call and ask...