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Flight Attendants Urge United Airlines to Drop Ted Cruz Cancun Data Leak Investigation

Flight Attendants Urge United Airlines to Drop Ted Cruz Cancun Data Leak Investigation

The United Airlines flight attendant union has come out in support of a staffer who leaked details about Senator Ted Cruz’s travel plans after a highly controversial trip to Cancun, Mexico while millions of Texans endured a power and water crisis. United Airlines said on Friday that it was investigating who leaked the details to the media and that “all options” were on the table to deal with anyone implicated in the leak.

Sen. Cruz jetted off to Cancun on Wednesday in the midst of a severe weather crisis that has left millions of Texas residents in despair. When the media found out that Cruz had travelled south of the border, the Republican senator for Texas initially implied he had only ever intended to go for 24-hours to act as a chaperone for his two daughters.

“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz wrote on Thursday as details about his trip to the sun and warmth of Mexico was revealed. “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.

But within hours his explanation was blown out of the water after a United Airlines insider revealed that Cruz only booked his return flight to Texas on Thursday morning and after his whereabouts had been unearthed. The source claimed Cruz had originally been booked to return to the U.S. on Saturday.

The leak prompted Cruz to admit that the trip was “obviously a mistake” and that “in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it.” Cruz said he started getting second thoughts about the trip the moment he stepped on the plane.

“It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers and we are investigating this incident,” the airline said in a statement on Friday. No options are “off the table,” to deal with the leak noted a spokesperson for the airline. Options include dismissal.

Potentially thousands of employees could have had access to data systems that would allow them to look up and share the personal travel details of customers. The use of these data systems is logged and monitored. Analysis of access logs could reveal which employer helped share Cruz’s travel plans.

But on Friday evening, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) came out in defense of the insider and suggested United should drop the investigation.

@tedcruz is not a “customer,” he’s a public servant who has lied too many times. WE’RE ALL THE LEAK,” Nelson, who represents around 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines including United, wrote on Twitter.

“Perspective: whoever the “leak” is, she/he/they have over 10k @united colleagues & families in TX who are freezing while their US Senator skips town & then tries to lie about it,” the Tweet said.

In a follow-up, Nelson tagged the official United Airlines Twitter account with the same #WeAreAllTheLeak hashtag. The airline did not publicly reply to Nelson’s Tweet.

In order to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules, Cruz would have needed to of taken a COVID-19 test within 72-hours of his return to the U.S. It’s not clear whether Cruz managed to get a test and result during the short time he was in Mexico or whether he had taken a test that was still valid before leaving Texas.

View Comments (31)
  • Here is the issue its not Cruz ( what he did was stupid and irresponsible) but the fact that an employee leaked information contained in UA system. Now what if that or any employee goes in and extracts vital information/financial/ home addresses etc? Ok we live in an age that one can find most of this so I ask you Mateusz are you comfortable with some leaking your information ? I would appreciate your public reply.

    • Agree with you completely – What if the tables were turned and somebody ratted out the flight attendant? Certainly the union would come to her defense… It’s an upside down world

  • Who appointed Sara Nelson to decide that private data covered under company policy should be released to the public?

  • Sarah Nelson is an absolute nightmare. I’d use a number of other words but this is a public forum. No matter what your politics are, private customer information is just that, private. Ted Cruz is absolutely just a customer, especially on these flights because he was paying with his own dime, not taxpayer funds. I’m sure UA flies hundreds of public figures / celebrities etc every week and they are no different. I do hope UA figures out the leak here and throws them on the street.

  • Shows how truly biased they are. Very serious privacy breach, yet anything goes in the leftist agenda. Imagine if it was a leak about A.O.C.!

    The employee should be fired. That’s a one strike you’re out.

  • This not new, public officials rule where airlines are concerned.
    As a UAL retired F/A of 30 plus years, I’ve had a mayor’s girlfriend in first class on comped ticket more than once…she enjoyed Maui.
    A congressman’s 2 close relatives were flight attendants
    that made own work rules and days off.
    Another mayor’s wife and daughter were
    comped first class seats, not uncommon to see them on certain flts.
    So here we are UAL looking for a leak that reaffirmed what a liar Ted Cruz is.
    Politics as usual…let’s kill the messenger

    • You are just as confused as the leader and the union head. Just because someone’s politics are different from your’s or you believe they tell lies, that NEVER gives you the right to break the rules or perhaps put them in danger by divulging private information. Unless you can honestly say you would treat a Democrat the same way, you are a hypocrite. You justify this shameful act by saying Cruz lies? Name one politician that hasn’t lied. How about you? Have you ever lied?

  • Hilarious. We all know full well if this had been a prominent democrat politician whose info was leaked, the entire media would be on DefCon level 10 outrage and Pelosi and Schumer would be demanding a special congressional investigation into the airline in order to find and destroy anyone responsible for this leak. But an evil conservative? Meh. Whatever. No biggie. A big “well done, mate!” to the leaker. Because we all also know, if not for double, the left would have no standards at all. Every day just proves that yet again.

  • I understand Texas became a mess…Maybe Cruz shouldn’t have went, but we all need a break….My c oncern is that private information about a customer was giving to the media..Maybe the fault is really that we need to fix the things that cause these major outage of power and makeing sure it never happens again..

  • Omg. Give the guy a break. Dems travel overseas on our dime in the name of good will. Every one…EVERY ONE…is welcome to aittle r&r with their family. Get a life naysayers.

  • I agree with United Airlines on this one. Regardless of who the passenger is, we are ALL entitled to due process. Even elected officials have the right to keep their travel information private.

    Regardless of the outrage you feel about Ted Cruz or anyone else, you don’t have the privilege of being a self appointed judge, jury, and executioner in this country. Personally I hope Ted Cruz either resigns or is in search of a new job soon, but no one deserves to have their travel information outed or leaked improperly like this.

    I hope the leaker is FIRED. Extremely poor judgement on part of the leaker.

  • Any employee could have looked up Cancun Cruz’s reservation history, just out of curiosity, mentioned it to a co-worker, and eventually the info got around to non-staff. The culprit is not necessarily the one who made the first computer keystrokes.
    I’m retired from a major US carrier and know that employees are instructed not to divulge any personal info, not even to people claiming to be a passenger’s family member, friend, colleague.

  • It’s not as if Cruz could have prevented
    or changed the outcome of the storm, why is aoc down there and not at home with her constituents, pure bs all the way around. UA is right in investigating this leak, these commies acting as congresswoman should be
    Hung for treason, omat aoc and the other two, along with Pelosi and shumer, .

  • So, self-loathing, righteous Sarah Nelson, clearly a hard corps Leftist hates Ted Cruz. Got it. And Nelson claims special dispensation of Cruz’s privacy as supposedly being in the public interest as Cruz is a public servant.
    Well, Sarah, I say the same holds true for flight attendants, beginning with, that’s right, toi meme. After all, the public’s safety when as passengers on any commercial aircraft in no small part resides in the duties and hands of flight attendants, and American commercial carriers and their employees ARE bound by a host of federal laws……….., I’d say that makes you, dear Sarah equally open to having YOUR privacy IN TOTO fully exposed and reported, 24/7. What……..? Too soon……..? Too soon……..?

    ps: Fire Nelson and the individual at UA who “leaked” such information. I’m sure both will immediately secure jobs with the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN. etc……………

  • I just don’t get what the big hub bub is all about. Yea, Cruz probably shouldn’t have gone to Cancun, but as a US Senator he has no authority over the State of TX, nor it’s utilities. Basically all he can do is excerpt political pressure, and support the governor on the request for disaster relieve. If people are so worried about where Ted Cruz was, maybe they should be equally skeptical of why it’s taking the President 2 weeks to visit the state…

  • This one seems pretty simple: United considers its passenger information to be confidential. As a corporation, they have policies against revealing this confidential information outside of the company (and punishments up to, and including, termination of employees who reveal confidential information).
    All of the politics aside (and there are plenty of politics in this one …) Ted Cruz and his family were traveling as private citizens on a vacation (yes, yes, the timing didn’t look very good) with every expectation that his right to privacy would be upheld by United Airlines.
    The investigation by United should be conducted, just as it would for any issue involving the unauthorized release of confidential information. And when the person (or persons) who leaked the information are identified, there should be an opportunity for the employee(s) to provide explanation. And then United should take appropriate steps (including termination, if appropriate) based on all of the facts.
    Let’s give United Airlines time to conduct a proper investigation, and then take the right steps.
    And, meanwhile, it seems to me that United owes the entire Cruz family, and especially Ted Cruz, an apology (and probably some form of compensation).
    EdSparks

  • This is ridiculous. That information is proprietary and should not be made public. I live in New Mexico and I have no idea where our invisible senators are, nor do I care – as long as they are taking care of business. In today’s world, whether you’re in Cancun or Timbuktu, you can still stay in touch and conduct business electronically. Being physically present in most cases is not necessary (reinforced by COVID mandates) and to make a big deal out of this is just plain mean-spirited. And lastly, US senators have little or no power (or authority) to intervene in their state’s business – that is the job of the governor, state legislature, etc.

  • So I guess Flight Attendants firmly believe that “the ends justify the means.” Rules and ethics don’t apply if THEY decide that the cause is “just.” Privacy rules are only for the “innocent” (in THEIR eyes.) Does that also apply to the Bill of Rights? Do we deny the Right to Counsel, the Right Against Self-Incrimination, and the Right to be Free from Illegal Searches and Seizures to criminals? Who decides that? Flight Attendants? Does Big Tech get to share all of “Liars'” personal data with whomever they want? Very curious that Flight Attendants evidently believe that someone buying a ticket and service on an airline with their own money is not a “customer” based upon their profession and their alleged “lying.” So, then: Please define “customer” Flight Attendants.

  • Private information should remain private. Find the leaker, terminate them immediately, then publish all their private information. You do not want this type of employee working for you.

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