Alaska Airlines bans US state lawmaker for 'continued refusal' to comply with mask policy

Sen Lora Reinbold was filmed clashing with an airline staff last Thursday.
Sen Lora Reinbold was filmed clashing with an airline staff last Thursday. Photo credit: Facebook / Lora Reinbold

Alaska Airlines has banned a US state lawmaker after she repeatedly refused to comply with the mask policy.

Sen Lora Reinbold, a Republican, was filmed clashing with an airline staff last Thursday (local time).

"We need you to pull the mask up, or I'm not going to let you on the flight," an airline staff member told Reinbold in a video posted on Twitter.

"It is up," Reinbold responds.

"It is not, it's down below your nose. We can't have it down," the staff said.

An Alaska Airline spokesperson told Anchorage Daily News on Saturday the airline has decided to ban Reinbold from flying with them.

"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," he said.

"The 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 travelling through an airport."

Alaskan Airlines operates the only regular flights between her home north of Anchorage and the state capital in Juneau.

This means Reinbold had to drive more than 14 hours and then take a ferry to reach Juneau on Monday.

"Alaska, I went to new heights to serve you and have a new appreciation for the marine ferry system," she wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

"I am keenly aware of the monopoly in air transport to Juneau that needs [to be] reviewed!

"Please thank my husband for giving up his birthday to make a long unexpected trip to Juneau by road/ferry system! Nothing could get in the way to be in the Capitol to fight executive branch infringement on the legislature and defending your rights by trying to stop HB76 which is on the Senate floor tomorrow!"

Reinbold has previously suggested masks were not a useful preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a Facebook post last year, Reinbold called out "mask bullies".

"Mask bullies in full force on Alaskan Airlines - all because a scaredy-cat Karen whined loudly and was a tattle tail when I took my dumb worthless suffocating mask off a bit longer than she wanted, for my food and drink," she said.

"Sadly, Alaska airlines is part of mask tyranny and not providing proof required in law they help stop the spread (I can show they cause health problems)."