Ted Cruz, Cancun, Cancun Cruz, United Airlines, Senator Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz, Cancun

Why Ted Cruz’s United Airlines Flight Info Was Hiding In Plain Sight

This is how internet sleuths quickly found the senator's flight details. No secret password required

2/23/2021 2:00:00 PM

This is how internet sleuths quickly found the senator's flight details. No secret password required

This is how internet sleuths quickly found the senator's flight details. No secret password required.

As he waited in Houston to board his flight, Cruz wasphotographed in the departure loungewearing the same face mask that he wore during President Joe Biden’s inauguration and former President Trump’s most recent impeachment trial. The gray mask is emblazoned with a black cannon and the “Come And Take It” slogan used by Texans during the 1835 revolution against Mexico. An interesting choice, considering where he was heading. Some passengers on Cruz’s flight posted selfies on Facebook and wrote that they’d spoken with him on the plane.

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Cruz had planned to, one of three Ritz-Carltons in Mexico and the only Forbes five-star resort in Cancun. That information went public when friends of the senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz, leaked group textsNew York Timesrevealing that she had invited her pals to flee “FREEZING” Texas and join her family at the Ritz-Carlton, where she said they had stayed “many times,” noting the direct flight, room rate and exemplary security. 

The story quickly exploded into a huge PR nightmare for the senator. So after just one sleep on the hotel’s 400-count Egyptian cotton sheets, Cruz decided to turn tail and fly back to Houston.At 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Kyle Potter, editor-in-chief of Thrifty Traveler, posted a screengrab from United Airlines “ headtopics.com

check flight status” web portal that showed the standby list for business class upgrades for a 2:35 p.m. flight from Cancun to Houston.The database is open to the public and searchable by route or flight number. From the results page, you can click “view details” to see who is on standby status. For privacy, United only displays the first three letters of the passenger’s last name and the first initial.

Potter tweeted: “And just like that, Ted (Rafael) Cruz seems to be on his way back to Texas. ‘CRU, R.’ is on the upgrade list on this afternoon's flight from Cancun to Houston. He was on the list on yesterday afternoon’s flight down to Cancun, too.”

Two minutes after noon, Edward Russell, lead airlines reporter at Skift, the travel intel website,tweeted: “Spoke to a source at United Airlines, Senator Ted Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6 a.m. today (Thursday). He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday.”

On Thursday afternoon, CNN producer Nora Neus began tweeting a play-by-play from an extremely well-placed source who flew on Cruz’s flight home. There is the senator,in a bulkhead seat in coach. (Apparently, he never got off that standby list.) Read more: Forbes »

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