From Cancun to Capitol Hill: Ted Cruz Pushes Airport Fast Pass For Politicians Amidst Re-election

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has proposed legislation “that would offer lawmakers a dedicated security escort at airports, along with expedited screening outside of public view.” He’s trying to attach it to FAA Reauthorization:

The measure would also provide the same special treatment to federal judges and Cabinet members, as well as a limited number of their family and staff. Cruz is trying to attach the amendment to a major aviation policy bill, S. 1939, that is expected to be marked up in the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.

When the Texas power grid failed during an unprecedented storm 3 years ago, people tracked the Senator’s every movement while he headed to Cancun with his family. This was a major political blunder because people were without power for days. Some died. And he appeared not to show any leadership. This proposal may have helped to keep him out of the spotlight.

Ted Cruz said he was just escorting his family. A United employee leaked his reservation details suggesting that wasn’t true. His overstuffed suitcase also led observers to infer he wasn’t doing a straight turn as well.

Cruz is based in Houston and has MileagePlus elite status that leaves him way down on the upgrade list when he flies. He isn’t Global Services. And he doesn’t eant just golf carts, he wants private screening. Coming back from Cancun, though, he almost got the upgrade!

In the past, Senator Cruz has shown up late for the airport and missed his flight, without special services, declaring “don’t you know who I am?”

During the Project Journey revamp of National airport, members of Congress (and other government VIPs) lost access to dedicated complimentary close-in parking. This would be another way to separate our betters from the masses they are supposed to represent.

It seems to me that since in the U.S. airports are owned and managed by governments, and security screening is largely performed by (rather than just overseen by) government, government leaders should experience them the same way that passengers do, “eat your own dog food” or else we cannot ever expect the product to get better.

Cruz faces re-election this year. His race against Beto O’Rourke in 2018 had Republicans retain the Senate seat in Texas by a mere 3 points. Telling voters that he’s more important than they are during election season is a bad look.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A bit off topic, but we could solve VA health care deficiencies if congress was required to use VA for their health care.

  2. Given the insurrection he and his fellow traitors supported, they should be given additional security checks and scrutinization.

  3. @TomE: That’s a very good point. And quite frankly, given the lousy job they do, they deserve to have to deal with the VA for their health care more than our service members.

  4. It would be better were all Senators and members of the House required to experience what average Americans do when traveling by air. They are our representatives who govern, not self appointed royalty. Some might recall that Pelosi flew special for years as Speaker. The cost was astronomical.

  5. hmmmmmm

    Maybe expand this airport fast pass idea to everyone, perhaps loosen TSA up so people can be shuffled through a little faster. Maybe even axe TSA for those that have id, or everyone bc no one will bother to bomb an airport.

  6. No real problems with Cruz, smart guy but disingenuous – the alternative is usually worse. On the other hand, he’s helped get a few of my friends appointed as judges. He was a weird dude back that no one liked at Princeton and still weird now.

  7. Now do the multitude of Biden admin officials flying private or govt jets. Remember when leftists were outraged that trump cabinet members flew in domestic F? But Biden admin officials not even cabinet level fly private. Selective outrage as usual from leftists and from view from the left wing.

    I don’t think this is an unreasonable request since leftist agitators love to accost and harrass GOP politicians in public, at the behest of leftist politicians of course.

  8. That’s not how Democracy works.

    If he wants faster, he can pay for clear and global entry like the rest of us.

    But here is the thing: he wants SECURITY and ISOLATION FROM THE PLEBES because I am sure he gets an earfull in the airport and his snowflake ego just can’t take it.

    Nope. You get the paycheck, you get the feedback.

  9. I didn’t realize Ted Cruz is so fat. My opinion of him just went down. Some belly fat is ok but his spills out.

    As far as electricity, what can a politician do in an emergency?

  10. I think Congress should begin debate on this immediately. It is certainly way more important to America’s future than little issues like comprehensive immigration reform or military support to Ukraine.

  11. Let’s make it easier for crooked senators like Jeff Wilson to sneak guns in and out of airports.

  12. This is from 3 years ago. No political axe to grind hey Gary. Do not present it with a heading that seems to imply it happened today, by mentioning Cancun.

  13. If only we could pass legislation/constitutional amendment that requires Congress people to NOT BE SPECIAL – to have to experience the same things ordinary citizens experience – in healthcare, retirement benefits, travel, vacation time. If they had to live like the rest of us, things would improve quickly. The fact that they are special gives them very little incentive to improve things in this country.

  14. This is just my opinion, govt reps get to accrue miles for future free trips when they’re out of office & get complimentary upgrades when traveling on govt fares where taxpayers foot the bill. Some govt fares are actually cheaper than basic economy. They never have to wait on hold when calling reservations. Some get complementary status – GS on UA, KC on AA, & 360 on DL without having to spend $$ big bucks, or even achieve the flight segment required to be elite members on the airline respective programs.

    People often complain about working flight crews getting upgrades before themselves; where is the outrage for members of Congress. The biggest irony is some members are pushing legislation to remove airline CC perks, whilst they are the ones that most benefit from airline loyalty programs.

  15. Never underestimate Rafael Cruz’ narcissism or inferiority complex.
    I wish him a relentless, lengthy, and public SSSS on every flight.

    If he has an upgrade, I hope that he is late to the gate and the upgrade is given to a member of the military, first responder, teacher, nurse, or anyone else who is making a real difference.

    Enjoy 37B, Senator. Sorry, there is no more snack mix.

    On the other hand, he might be useful if seated in the exit row on a MAX. He’s large enough to plug the door.

  16. @wileydog – Ha, I completely agree. Imagine: a Ted Cruz TSA strip search. Wait, don’t imagine, DON’T IMAGINE!

  17. Texas’s US Senator Cruz is behaving like the Soviet Union’s senior apparatchiks where they were in favor of favors and waivers granted to the nomenclatura but not to the average citizen of their country or even their average fellow party member.

    As long as the TSA is groping the sex organs of any flyers hit by haraSSSSment designation, every US Senator and US House Member should be subject to the worst of the TSA screening and in public at that. Be one with the worst off constituents at the airports nearest them.

  18. Security? Ted, how about you get shot first like the rest if us and then we’ll give you thoughts and prayers while we do nothing about it.

  19. @ Luke

    The congressman had two (2) dogs in a single kennel. Watch the video.

    That is against every airline in the USA rules on traveling with pets, he conveniently left that out of his tirade.

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