Alaska Airlines has banned a Republican state senator from flying over her refusal to wear a mask, Breitbart reported.
Lora Reinbold, from Eagle River, was barred for “continued” defiance of the rules. “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,” spokesperson Tim Thompson said.
Alaska Airlines bans lawmaker
Reinbold is a vocal critic of COVID restrictions and the role Alaska Airlines has played in upholding “mask tyranny,” although she said she hopes to fly again with Alaska soon.
She called out the airline’s “monopoly” on air travel from Anchorage to the state capital, Juneau.
A video surfaced last week of the Republican arguing with employees at Juneau International Airport. Reinbold said she had asked about a “mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter” and was able to board.
“I was reasonable with all Alaska Airlines employees,” she said. “I have been flying on Alaska Air for decades and am an MVP Gold (frequent flyer). I inquired about mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter.”
Masks remain controversial
Airlines were early enforcers of mask rules, but the Biden administration made wearing them a requirement under federal law. Alaska Airlines has barred more than 500 people over masks.
More than a year after coronavirus lockdowns began, masks remain controversial, with critics saying they should no longer be required as more and more Americans are vaccinated. But the Biden administration has insisted on scrupulous, continued adherence to restrictions.
Zealous enforcement has brought pushback. Spirit Airlines recently came under fire for booting a couple off a plane because their toddler was not wearing a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control proclaimed Tuesday that Americans who have been vaccinated can go outside without masks again, something Joe Biden touted as a big step towards “normal living.”
What “normal” actually means remains up in the air amid talk of “vaccine passports” that have been heavily backed by the airline industry.