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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Think Innovation. Think Federation.

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, March 16, 2007
7:22 am

My colleague Terry Gardner recently proposed an interesting Identity Federation use case. I include his exact words with his permission:

“I wonder if anyone has explored the possibilities associated with federating airline frequent flyer information. Here’s a concrete example:

“Delta, Continental, Northwest, and Air France are four of the members of the SkyTeam alliance. Travelers can earn and use miles/points and utilize airport lounges for any of these (in fact, all members of the SkyTeam alliance). When a traveler books a flight on Northwest, for example, Atlanta to Champaign, but wishes to accumulate Delta SkyMiles instead of Northwest WorldPerks, the traveler must present his SkyMiles information to the gate agent at Northwest, and then follow up after the flights are complete to ensure that mileage is earned and posted on Delta. This does not sound like a big deal, but what if accounts were federated between Delta and Northwest in such a way where the traveler could use SkyMiles and WorldPerks interchangeably at any place where miles are checked, such as web sites, airports, etc.? This would be amazingly powerful and convenient for travelers.

“In other worlds, federate frequent flyer program information between members of alliances.”

Thank, Terry for thinking Federation. The technology works. Now we need to have innovative business ideas to really capture the potential of Identity Federation.

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