Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold has been banned from flying on Alaska Airlines after refusing to wear a mask. The mask policy is both an airline requirement and a federal requirement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Reinbold had allegedly referred to Alaska Airlines employees as “mask bullies” and was recorded arguing with airline employees and has sought out exemptions for herself.
“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,” spokesman Tim Thompson in comments to the Anchorage Daily News. Reinbolds ban has immediate effect. Reinbold is a Republican but is not part of the Republican caucus after being kicked out in 2015. She previously served in Alaska’s House fro 2013 to 2019.
Reinbold’s only option to get to Juneau, which is Alaska’s capital, is to take a ferry that takes several days as there are no other airlines that fly into Juneau. While she can attend committee hearings via teleconferencing and video meetings, she must be present in order to vote according to Alaska’s voting procedures.