How did everyone find out Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, changed his travel plans? That’s a question United Airlines is looking to answer.
The airline is investigating who leaked data revealing when Cruz originally planned to return to Texas, which had been hit by a brutal winter storm that left millions without power. The change in schedule coincided with massive backlash on social media and beyond over Cruz’s trip to Mexico on Wednesday at the height of the crippling weather event.
“It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers and we are investigating this incident,” United Airlines said in a statement to USA TODAY.
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Reports of the trip from Houston to Cancun on United Airlines went viral Thursday, earning Cruz nonstop scorn from Democratic lawmakers and other critics, including United flight attendants stuck without power in Houston. Cruz confirmed the trip in a statement, saying it was a last-minute journey with his daughters – a claim that only further kindled the firestorm.
“With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz said.
The Republican told reporters later Thursday he began second-guessing the trip the moment he first got on the plane Wednesday. “It was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
Many of United employees have access to customer flight information, but “leaks” about travelers’ flight plans are rare in the industry, Politico originally reported.
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY.