U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R – TX) has a love-hate relationship with United Airlines. While he detests the carrier’s mask policy and employee vaccine mandate, he claims to have solidarity with front line employees. But not in Bozeman, Montana, after Cruz was late to check-in for his flight and did not receive an exception, prompting a hissy fit and even a call to airport law enforcement.
Tardy Ted Cruz Misses Airport Check-In Cutoff For United Flight, Prompting Angry Reaction, Police Response
Video shared on Reddit shows Senator Cruz attempting to check in for his United Airlines flight from Bozeman (BZN). After being told he was too late for check-in, a visibly irate Cruz took out his anger on a pair of frontline employees. Another airport employee who videoed the encounter claims Cruz was demanding names and threatening to “go to corporate” if he was not checked in for the flight.
Although not on video, the traveler who took the video claims that Cruz asked the agent, “Do you know who I am?” and repeatedly asked to speak to a manger (about 12 times). Additional context is provided here.
Cruz’s failure to calm down prompted a call to airport police, as explained by the Bozeman Airport Deputy Director:
“One of our Public Safety Officers (PSO) was in the ticket lobby and was asked to assist with a frustrated passenger at the United ticket counter (which is not unusual). The passenger had missed the check-in window for his flight and re-booking options were limited out of Bozeman due to Spring Break.
“Once travel options were explained to the passenger, he was rebooked and departed Bozeman later that evening. Our PSO didn’t realize he was dealing with Senator Cruz until after the fact.”
While Cruz’s behavior is indefensible, I tend to think the check-in cutoff at tiny airports like Bozeman is also a bit too draconian. This is an airport in which you can arrive at, drop your bags off, print your boarding pass, clear security, and be at your gate in under five minutes…without even breaking a sweat.
Furthermore (and I’m not proud to say this), I cannot count on my hands and feet how many “one-time exceptions” have been made for me over the years when I showed up at the airport late. Again, Cruz is totally at fault for arriving late, but if his experience is anything like mine, I understand why he at least asked for an exception: that’s because check-in cutoffs are not hard and fast rules. Truly, the staff could have let him check-in if they wanted to (we can read between the lines that the flight may have been oversold based upon the airport’s statement).
Cruz does not win any allies by acting like a spoiled child after checking in late for his flight. His missed flight is a lesson for all of us that we should not count on an airline waiving check-in cutoff just because it can.
(H/T: View From The Wing)