Cruz allegedly called United Airlines at 6 a.m. on Thursday to change his flight the morning after his disastrous recognition at the Houston airport with his family en route to Cancun. After the senator was lambasted for taking a beach vacation as millions of Texans sat freezing without electricity or heat in the grip of a massive power outage coinciding with a winter storm, Cruz had his return flight changed from Saturday to Thursday evening, according to an airline source cited by travel industry outlet Skift.
An image of the upgrade list for the United Airlines 4:05pm Thursday flight from Cancun to Houston posted to Twitter includes one “CRU, R.” – Cruz’s given name is Rafael – standing by for business class.
While the senator eventually released a statement on Thursday acknowledging it had “been an infuriating week for Texans” and explaining “our family lost heat and power too,” the rest of the explanation – that the Cruz daughters had asked to “take a trip with friends” on the spur of the moment and, with school closed for the week, Cruz had just picked up and gone with them with the intention of returning the next day – rang false with many readers.
Cruz’s detractors on social media warned him the coverup was worse than the crime, pointing to his prodigious suitcase – not exactly an overnight bag – and the apparent ticket change.
Others wondered what happened to the “long-planned trip” he had supposedly embarked on – referenced by an AP source “with direct knowledge of the situation” – before realizing that leaving his constituents literally out in the cold didn’t look good.
Upon returning to his home state, Cruz gave a brief media interview later on Thursday, telling the Recount the trip was “obviously a mistake, and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it.”
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