Alaska lawmaker banned from airline over mask policy

Alaska Airlines has banned state Sen. Lora Reinbold (R) after she repeatedly refused to abide by its mask-wearing requirement.

“We have notified Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not permitted to fly with us for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy,” Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson told the Anchorage Daily News.

“This suspension is effective immediately, pending further review. Federal law requires all guests to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during travel, including throughout the flight, during boarding and deplaning, and while traveling through an airport,” Thompson added.

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The ban comes after video of Reinbold arguing with Alaska Airlines staff members about the airline's mask policy was posted on social media.

“I was reasonable with all Alaska Airlines employees. I have been flying on Alaska Air for decades and am an MVP gold. I inquired about mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter,” Reinbold wrote on Facebook post on Saturday. “I was respectful of Alaska Airlines policies. We had a pleasant safe flight with happy flight attendants and great talented pilots. I hope to be on an Alaska Airlines flight in the near future.”

Ak Air: Until there is a fair determination, after thorough review of both sides, I believe this should be...

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Posted by Senator Lora Reinbold on Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Anchorage Daily News notes that this ban may present a significant travel obstacle for Reinbold, as no other airline has regularly scheduled flights between Anchorage and Juneau.

However, it appears that Reinbold may have found an alternative. 

According to the newspaper, she discussed using the ferry system, which goes through Canada, in a Facebook post on Sunday. In her post, Reinbold refers to “the monopoly in air transport to Juneau that needs [to be] reviewed.”