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UA investigating disclosure of prominent customer's flight info

UA investigating disclosure of prominent customer's flight info

Old Feb 20, 21, 3:21 pm
  #1  
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UA investigating disclosure of prominent customer's flight info

https://thehill.com/policy/transport...f-cruzs-cancun

I wonder how common such prominent disclosures are? UA seems generally very good about protecting customers' privacy.

As a UA employee for two years in the 1980s, opening the PNRs of celebrities without business need to do so was grounds for discipline.

I am no longer sure if the PNR history documents every agent who accessed a file, or merely those who modified it.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 3:24 pm
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Unclear what if anything was disclosed. He was repeatedly photographed on smartphones and upgrade list is public.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Unclear what if anything was disclosed. He was repeatedly photographed on smartphones and upgrade list is public.
What supposedly was disclosed is that his original return was on Sunday, and he moved it up to Thursday. That's not publicly available information.

This may belong in the DYKWIA forum, except that here, everybody knew who he was! Made the front page of the numerous newspapers, including NYT and Wash Post. And, certainly brought the upgrade list to wider notice.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Unclear what if anything was disclosed. He was repeatedly photographed on smartphones and upgrade list is public.
From the original article:

Before Cruz’s statement, Edward Russell, a reporter for travel industry news outlet Skift, tweeted that a source at United told him Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston that afternoon but was originally scheduled to return Saturday.

"Spoke to a source at United Airlines, Senator Ted Cruz rebooked his flight back to Houston from Cancun for this afternoon at around 6 a.m. today (Thursday). He was originally scheduled to return on Saturday. https://t.co/QV9xgibIQ9

— Edward Russell (@ByERussell)
February 18, 2021"
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:28 pm
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Putting aside the issue of the propriety of the travel and one's views of the passenger (all just fine for OMNI/PR), this is about UA abiding by its privacy policy. The issue at hand is the release of the information regarding his originally-scheduled return tomorrow (Sunday) rather than Thursday.

UA will be able to figure out who accessed the PNR and can deal with that accordingly.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
UA will be able to figure out who accessed the PNR and can deal with that accordingly.
Except it's possible an agent (or agents) who had a reason for accessing the record shared the information internally, either appropriately or as gossp, and that someone else leaked to the press. It could prove very difficult to ID the person who actually leaked it.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 22, 21 at 8:07 pm Reason: Removed OMNI comment
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Old Feb 20, 21, 4:39 pm
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Discussion of Cruz and his trip is best for Rafael "Ted" Cruz Senator (R-TX) *Warning this is in OMNI/PR

Discussion of UA and UA's policies are appropriate for this forum.

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Old Feb 20, 21, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
*Warning this is in OMNI/PR
hic sunt dracones
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Old Feb 20, 21, 5:21 pm
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wouldn't anyone have been able to see the UG list for the 'original return' just by checking CUN-IAH flights for the next several days? Once you are on the UG list anyone can check ... no? That is of course before the earlier return was booked.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 5:46 pm
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So, did he clear the upgrade???
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Old Feb 20, 21, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by SS255 View Post
So, did he clear the upgrade???
Does UA want more bailout funds?
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Old Feb 20, 21, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Except it's possible an agent (or agents) who had a reason for accessing the record shared the information internally, either appropriately or as gossp, and that someone else leaked to the press. It could prove very difficult to ID the person who actually leaked it.
{E}even if someone internal with a NTK accessed it with a legitimate business reason I'm not sure the fact that they "only" gossiped about it internally and someone downstream leaked it to the press I don't think is really mitigating. Airlines have and are trusted with huge amounts of data on passengers much of it we don't really have a choice about disclosing. If I were of any notability I wouldn't be crazy about employees sharing my future travel plans without a valid business reason (past travel plans, perhaps oddly, I have many fewer issues with) --- of course the greatest idiot is the external leak (or the journalist who identified as a UA source...based on APIS it could have just as easily been a leak from the CBP/DHS direction, or passenger's staff among others)...

But this isn't exactly a new issue either -- I have an old NW "Ground Services Format Guide" (revision dated April 1988) that all VIP PNRs will be recorded as being on flight 9989 MSP-QXA presumably to make leak tracking easier and help prevent accidental leaking)

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 22, 21 at 8:09 pm Reason: quote updated to reflect Moderator edit
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Old Feb 20, 21, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Except it's possible an agent (or agents) who had a reason for accessing the record shared the information internally, either appropriately or as gossp, and that someone else leaked to the press. It could prove very difficult to ID the person who actually leaked it.
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
{E}ven if someone internal with a NTK accessed it with a legitimate business reason I'm not sure the fact that they "only" gossiped about it internally and someone downstream leaked it to the press I don't think is really mitigating. Airlines have and are trusted with huge amounts of data on passengers much of it we don't really have a choice about disclosing. If I were of any notability I wouldn't be crazy about employees sharing my future travel plans without a valid business reason (past travel plans, perhaps oddly, I have many fewer issues with) --- of course the greatest idiot is the external leak (or the journalist who identified as a UA source...based on APIS it could have just as easily been a leak from the CBP/DHS direction, or passenger's staff among others)...

But this isn't exactly a new issue either -- I have an old NW "Ground Services Format Guide" (revision dated April 1988) that all VIP PNRs will be recorded as being on flight 9989 MSP-QXA presumably to make leak tracking easier and help prevent accidental leaking)
I don't think the point was that it's mitigating, the point was that it's hard to pin the tail on the donkey (no pun), so to speak.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 22, 21 at 8:09 pm Reason: quote updated to reflect Moderator edit
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Old Feb 20, 21, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by SS255 View Post
So, did he clear the upgrade???
Photos I saw on twitter showed him bulkhead right aisle in Y+.
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Old Feb 20, 21, 8:15 pm
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as soon as i saw screenshots of the UG list all over twitter, my fear was that UA's kneejerk reaction will be to remove the upgrade/standby lists from public view. hopefully that won't happen.
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