Alaska Airlines has banned Alaska state Senator Lisa Reinhold, a Republican, after she argued with airport employees about a mask mandate.
The announcement came after video footage of Reinhold’s behavior went viral last week. At the time of the incident, Reinhold threatened to call the police on employees and even started to film them with her phone as she asked for their names.
You can watch it below.
— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) April 22, 2021
“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 in an email.
“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,” he added.
The ban will complicate Reinhold’s ability to go back to work because her commute from the town of Eagle River to the capital of Juneau is only accessible via plane or boat. She later posted to Facebook about the ban––as well as the long journey she had to make “by road/ferry system.”
“I am keenly aware of the monopoly in air transport to Juneau that needs reviewed! Please thank my husband for giving up his birthday to make a long unexpected trip to Juneau by road/ferry system!” she wrote in one post. “Nothing could get in the way to be in the Capitol to fight to executive branch infringement on the legislature & defending your rights by trying to stop HB76 which is on the Senate floor tomorrow!”
In another, she claimed that she “learned about Ak Air decision before I knew there was even an inquiry and before I had a chance to talk to or discuss this with anyone at Alaska Air.”
“There was no due process before a temporary decision that is ‘under review’ was made public.” she said, claiming she’d been “reasonable” with Alaska Airline employees.
Reinhold was removed from her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee last week as a result of the scandal.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.