You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

United investigates who leaked Ted Cruz's flight plans for return trip

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 2/20/2021 Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com and Associated Press
a man and a woman standing in a room: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

United Airlines has launched an investigation into the identity of the source who leaked Senator Ted Cruz’s travel plans for his return trip from Cancun to storm-hit Texas on Thursday.

Cruz was seen at Houston airport boarding a plane to Cancun with his wife and two children late on Wednesday night while his home state was in the grip of a once-in-a-century winter storm.

Dozens died as temperatures fell well below freezing, causing widespread power outages and disruptions in water service.

As the backlash grew, Cruz abruptly changed plans and returned to Texas on Thursday.

a person standing in front of a store: Senator Ted Cruz is seen above as he is checking in for his flight back to the United States at Cancun International Airport on Thursday © Provided by Daily Mail Senator Ted Cruz is seen above as he is checking in for his flight back to the United States at Cancun International Airport on Thursday graphical user interface: United Airlines has launched an investigation into the identity of the source who leaked information about Cruz's travel plans. The image above shows Cruz being put on standby for an upgrade before his return flight to Houston on Thursday © Provided by Daily Mail United Airlines has launched an investigation into the identity of the source who leaked information about Cruz's travel plans. The image above shows Cruz being put on standby for an upgrade before his return flight to Houston on Thursday

The senator insisted that his trip was a one-day jaunt during which he wanted to accompany his family before returning stateside.

But a reporter at travel news site Skift, Edward Russell, reported that he was told by a source at United who said Cruz ‘rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6am today (Thursday).

‘He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday,’ Russell reported.

‘It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers and we are investigating this incident,’ a United executive told Politico.

Whoever leaked the information could be fired, the executive said. The investigation will now seek to determine the source of the leak.

It is rare for an airline to leak information about customers’ travel plans to the news media.

Travel reporters also learned that Cruz was on the upgrade standby list for his Thursday afternoon return flight from Cancun to Houston three hours before issuing a statement saying he was going back to the US.

a person standing in a room: The senator insisted that his trip was a one-day jaunt during which he wanted to accompany his family before returning stateside. But a source in the airline leaked that Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for Thursday morning after he initially planned to stay in the Mexican resort until Saturday. Cruz is seen in Cancun airport heading back to the US on Thursday © Provided by Daily Mail The senator insisted that his trip was a one-day jaunt during which he wanted to accompany his family before returning stateside. But a source in the airline leaked that Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for Thursday morning after he initially planned to stay in the Mexican resort until Saturday. Cruz is seen in Cancun airport heading back to the US on Thursday

Cruz’s name appears in electronic records as ‘CRU, R’ - with the ‘R’ standing for Rafael.

Cruz’s legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz. 

Upon his return to Texas, Cruz said his family vacation to Mexico was 'obviously a mistake.' 

The Republican senator said he began second-guessing the trip since the moment he first got on the plane Wednesday. 

'In hindsight, I wouldn't have done it,' he told reporters.

The trip drew criticism from leaders in both parties and was seen as potentially damaging to his future political ambitions.

Cruz said in an earlier statement Thursday that he accompanied his family to Cancun a day earlier after his daughters asked to go on a trip with friends, given that school was canceled for the week.

'Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,' Cruz wrote.

'My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,' he continued. 

'We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.'

Cruz told reporters Thursday night that he returned to the US because he realized he needed to be in Texas. 

He said he had originally been scheduled to stay in Mexico through the weekend.

'I didn't want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues that I think Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe,' Cruz said.

a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy blue sky: A United executive said the airline might fire the person responsible for the leak. The above image shows an undated file photo of a United Airlines jet © Provided by Daily Mail A United executive said the airline might fire the person responsible for the leak. The above image shows an undated file photo of a United Airlines jet

'It was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it,' he said.

The fierce political backlash comes as Cruz eyes a second presidential run in 2024. 

He was already one of the most villainized Republicans in Congress, having created adversaries across the political spectrum in a career defined by far-right policies and fights with the establishment.

More recently, he emerged as a leader in former President Donald Trump's push to overturn the results of the November election. 

Billboards calling for his resignation stood along Texas highways earlier in the month.

Even the state Republican Party chair declined to come to Cruz's defense on Thursday.   

Read more
AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon