U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas drew criticism this week when he left the state with his family for a flight to Cancun to escape the unprecedented freezing cold weather that caused massive power outages and now a water shortage in the state.
Twitter first spotted Cruz at the airport, then the internet investigation began. It was later reported by POLITICO that Ted Cruz was in Cancun. Once the twitter conversations took off, Cruz was in a hurry to take off from Mexico himself. Cruz was in Cancun for barely a day when the backlash forced him to change his return flight from Saturday and bump it up to Thursday to race home.
Now United Airlines wants to know, how did one member of the media tweet about Cruz’s change of flight after saying he “talked to a United source,” causing the Senator to be met at the Houston airport Thursday morning by a handful of other reporters?
United has told the media outlet POLITICO that it is investigating who leaked that information.
“It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers and we are investigating this incident,” a United executive said in a statement provided exclusively to POLITICO. The executive noted that the leaker could be terminated.
As industry insiders know, many if not thousands of employees have access to passenger PNRs (passenger name records) and could have viewed the reservation. Each view is logged and tracked. United will have a likely list of sources for the leak but depending on the amount of people on that list, it could be a while before their investigation nets results.
That is, if the investigation even begins.
Backlash on social media has created mounting pressure on United Airlines not to locate or enact disciplinary action against the employee.
Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, stand behind the source of the leak stating:
“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. @tedcruz is not a “customer,” he’s a public servant who has lied too many times. WE’RE ALL THE LEAK.”
Then Nelson began a tweet with the hashtag #WeAreAllTheLeak. Later, the hashtag began to trend on Twitter with many adding their own message to United Airlines to leave the leaker alone. Notably, Airline Pilots Association Executive Leadership and members also joined in on the conversation.
Another journalist criticized the reporter who broke the news about Cruz re-booking his flight, tweeting “That guy claiming to have a United source is putting that source in danger of being fired with his tweet. Airlines track every single keystroke of their agents or anyone else who has access to flight records.”