Senator Ted Cruz Promotes Low Fares To Cancun

In the midst of the worst storm Texas has seen in many decades in Februry, the state’s junior Senator Ted Cruz took his family out of the country. Amidst a backlash he changed his plans and returned home. He blamed his family for the mishap, saying he was just escorting the kids and always planned to return but that story turned out to be… less than accurate.

That’s an awful lot of luggage for an experienced traveler intending to make a straight turn or short overnight.

Now Cruz is poking fun at himself, with Houston media touting low fares to Cancun on Sun Country Airlines.

After United leaked his original itinerary and flight change history – and after his elite upgrade didn’t clear – he might just consider flying Sun Country rather than United the next time he flees the state during an emergency.

He’s getting roasted on social media for this latest Cancun tweet, but no matter what else you may think about Ted Cruz he actually does have a great sense of humor and quick wit. The interesting political calculus here: does re-raising the incident make it more salient in Texans’ minds, or does poking fun over it neutralize the issue?

Texas faced a 70 year weather event, which led to loss of power for days on end for millions in the state. Many lost water as well, as pipes froze and power was lost at pumping stations. People were stuck at home for days due to road conditions as well.

We’re still learning exactly what went wrong, though partisans on both sides were quick to trot out their hobby horses like an overreliance on renewable energy and a state grid that for the most part isn’t connected to the rest of the country to avoid federal regulation. Both of those takes turned out to be wrong, while renewable sources did go down they didn’t do so more than gas which provides a much greater share of electricity, and shortages elsewhere meant that a connected grid wouldn’t have provided much relief. Moreover power was flowing out of the state based on long-term contracts.

Here’s some of what we know,

  • There was unprecedented demand for electricity
  • Homes and power generation are optimized for extreme heat rather than extreme cold. It may be prudent to do better optimizing for cold, but this is expensive and involves tradeoffs.
  • Texas doesn’t have long-term contracts with its producers that would incentivize investments to ensure supply, relying on spot markets instead.
  • Supply went offline for a variety of reasons. The state regulator didn’t do its usual inspections of power generating plants due to Covid, even though they were permitted to do so, and that’s a failure of regulation not deregulation.
  • The state’s grid regulator paid natural gas producers not to use electricity as a conservation measure, but that meant they weren’t producing and delivering it to electric power generators.

I was fortunate during the meltdown. It turns out I’m on the same power switch as local fire and police, so I didn’t get shut off. I lost water for a couple of days, and was on a boil water notice for a couple of days more. And I couldn’t leave home for a week. Other than that I came through mostly unscathed.

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)

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. Has Ted Cruz also joked about his role in the terrorist insurrection in DC on January 6th? Hilarious, Ted.

  2. As a life-long Texan, I can honestly say that Ted Cruz is one of the lowest forms of humanity. He’s a selfish, self-serving, arrogant, lying, scum bag POS that does not represent the vast majority of Texans. I wish the Mexican drug cartels would have detained him permanently back when he fled Texas during one of our most horrific natural disasters to ever hit the state.

  3. (F)Lyin’ Ted is always good for a laugh. When inconvenience reared it’s ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled…

  4. That wacky Ted Cruz! What zany escapade will he choose to joke about next? Insurrection? Voter suppression? With him you never can tell.

  5. Ted Cruz didn’t cause the winter storm and he couldn’t have fixed the probelms which were decades in the making. I don’t think he should have exited the state during the crisis due to optics, but at the same time, I’m sure anyone who could have fled would have done so. The backlash is just another example of partisan politics where people take potshots wherever they can – and this is true whether red or blue. If we could just stop the pettiness, perhaps we could lead our way out of our problems.

  6. @Ken

    If you can prove that Ted Cruz is not a cretinous traitor and an advantageous scoundrel then I will offer you and your buddy a 100% authentic apology for calling him out on the January 6th terrorist attack.

  7. @Ken

    “I’m sure anyone who could have fled would have done so.”

    That’s such a false statement and shows how out of touch you are. Many police officers, fire fighters, mayors, other elected officials could have fled – but they chose NOT to in order do their job and be there for the public and their constituents.

    I think the bigger point is that if we could somehow get better quality individuals in elected offices, then maybe we could lead our way out of our problems.

  8. Gary, You left out important context when talking about what happened during the Texas winter storm.

    111 people lost their lives.

    That’s not amusing. Joking about leaving his constituents during that crisis is not a sign of a “great sense of humor.” He has still never acknowledged that he could have been on the ground helping his neighbors and constituents during that time. Nor has he apologized for taking badly needed cops off the street to escort him through the airport because he was too afraid of being confronted by Texans.

    I’m sure he thinks he’s funny, but that’s just another sign of his massive ego and arrogance. His selfishness isn’t funny at all.

  9. It is more notable that he is promoting the services at a airline from outside of Texas when there are three Texas hubbed airlines that fly to Cancun.

  10. The people here mad at Tes Cruz said nothing at all about the laundry list of their beloved Democrats who couldnt live up to their own Covid restrictions. Those Democrats abandoned their people and took the easy way out of tough lockdowns and virus restrictions.

    But the morons posting on here that hate Ted Cruz will never have the courage or balls to call out their own politicians. Democrats were AWOL when their leaders were discovered to be hypocrites and even defended their covid hypocricy.

    Ted Cruz is no different from his democrat colleagues. But that is called being a politician. Democrats for some reason think their own politicians are above reproach.

    I wonder where all you libs were in November when the Austin mayor demanded that everyone stay home while he was vacationing in Cabo? Asleep at the wheel and willfully ignorant as usual!

  11. The fact that nobody in the internet comments section has really come to the defense of Sen. Cruz shows how derided he truly is. The fact that fellow Texans keep electing someone they don’t actually want representing them because they’re so obedient to the GOP machine is truly a shame.

  12. @Wesley we’re pretty pissed about that here in Austin. Adler can’t run for mayor again, and isn’t exactly the darling of the Texas Democratic party. Of course he’s just the mayor and not a senator, but us libs are right here, and we’re still mad at him.

  13. I would buy Ted a beer, same as I would buy Gary or Jerry a beer even though we all three have different points of view s on issues affecting the USA.
    I would light up a J for Randy.

  14. So much hate and anger. The world is a sad place, full of people intent on making it more sad and depressing.

  15. @Wesley – you’re absolutely correct. The Austin Mayor did an awful thing as well and the awfulness is on both sides of the aisle. As a Texan, I just feel that Cruz is a particularly awful person in so many ways.

    I reiterate my point that we somehow need to figure out a way to get better quality people in our elected offices on BOTH SIDES!

    Sorry the comments on this travel blog have turned into a political conversation. Let’s focus on travel-related stories.


  17. @jojo

    The governor of Michigan flying to Florida and Ted Cruz going to Mexico are 2 totally different things. Stop with the deflection.

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