UNITED Airlines has launched a probe to identify the person who revealed Ted Cruz's flight details for his return from Mexico to Texas.
The Texas senator was seen at Houston Airport boarding a plane to Cancun with his family on Wednesday, but following backlash he returned home the next day as severe weather caused power outages and water disruptions.
On Thursday, Skift reporter Edward Russell said he was told by a source that Cruz "rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6am today."
Russell added: "He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday."
Cruz's name appears in electronic records as 'CRU, R' – where the 'R' stands for Rafael, as his legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.
A United executive told Politico: "It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers and we are investigating this incident."
An investigation has been launched to determine who leaked the information.
The executive said the person who revealed Cruz's travel plans could be fired.
The Republican Senator admitted his Cancun getaway was a "mistake" as texts revealed his wife wanted to flee "freezing" Texas.
After dashing to a luxury resort in Mexico, Cruz landed back in Texas on Thursday and had a police escort at the airport, where protesters held signs stating "24 dead" from the winter storm.
Protesters also congregated outside the senator's house in a plush Houston neighborhood.
Speaking to reporters outside his house, Cruz admitted he made a mistake and insisted he was "just trying to be a dad".
"It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn't have done it," Cruz said.
"I was trying to be a dad and all of us have made decisions – when you've got two girls who have been cold for two days, and haven't had heat or power, and they are saying: 'Look, we don't have school, why don't we go, let's get out of here.''
Asked directly what he was thinking, Cruz replied: "You question what I was thinking, and… I was trying to take care of my family.
"I was trying to take care of my kids. It's unfortunate, the fire storm that came from it.
"It was not my intention – in saying 'yes' to my daughters to somehow diminish all the Texans that were going through real hardship."
The senator expressed his regret as text messages obtained by The Sun emerged showing his wife Heidi planning the Cancun trip to escape the bitterly cold weather in Texas.
Heidi wanted her family to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun, Mexico, and noted that the room price was $309 per night, according to the texts.
She texted a group chat to say the Cruz home was "FREEZING" and invited others to fly to the Ritz Carlton where they had stayed "many times".
Heidi, who is a managing director at Goldman Sachs, wrote: "Are you guys warm enough? We have a fireplace! Let us know. Our house is FREEZING tho… we couldn't stand it anymore.
"Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun."
Heidi said there was a "direct flight" and that Cancun had "hotels w capacity. Seriously."
She told her pals they could leave on Wednesday afternoon and return on Sunday, and stay at the Ritz Carlton which sits oceanfront.
People on the group chat apparently did not show great interest in the Cancun option, prompting Heidi to make a different offer.
"We have gas stove so at least we can heat water little that there is happy to help anyone we can too," she wrote.
The text messages were confirmed to multiple news organizations -including the New York Times and the Washington Post – and verified by a second person on the thread who did not want to be identified.
The messages emerged after critics accused Ted Cruz of abandoning his state amid a record-breaking snowstorm.
More than 4 million Texans have been left without power, and at least 24 people have reportedly died.
On Wednesday night, photos circulated on Twitter showing a man who looked like the Republican senator on a flight to Cancun.
The politician was also pictured talking to a man at Cancun International Airport wearing a black Ritz Carlton polo shirt.
In a statement released before returning home to Texas, Cruz claimed he flew to Mexico to simply drop off his daughters for the vacation in Mexico.
The senator said that it had been an "infuriating week" for the state with food and gas lines and that his family lost heat and power along with millions of other Texans.
"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends," he said.
"Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon."
In a local news interview, the senator said he planned to stay with his family in Mexico through the weekend but had "second thoughts" almost as soon as he sat down on the flight there.
The couple's daughters, aged 10 and 12, were never mentioned in the text messages in the group chat.
Cruz said that he and his staff were in "constant communication" with state and local leaders to figure out what happened in the state.
Earlier on Thursday, a Texas Monthly reporter who drove by the Cruz home in Houston said a neighbor told him the block got its power back the previous night, and took a photo with a dog in the doorway.
A New York Magazine reporter who was also outside the Cruz home said a man who identified himself as a security guard said the senator was not home.
The security guard said he was taking care of the family dog and said the poodle, Snowflake, was doing well.
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