An Alaska state senator who has previously described Alaska Airlines flight attendants as “mask bullies” has been banned by the airline after another incident in which the senator allegedly refused to mask up.
The incident allegedly occurred during a scheduled flight from Anchorage to the remote city of Juneau. Alaska Airlines is the only airline to fly to Juneau and it could take Sen. Lora Reinbold several days to get back to Anchorage by ferry the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Alaska Airlines spokesperson Tim Thompson confirmed the ban in an emailed statement, saying: “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.”
“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 continued.
In a Facebook post on Saturday night, Sen. Reinbold hit back at the airline claiming details of the ban had been leaked to the media before anyone from Alaska Airlines had even notified her.
“There was no due process before a temporary decision that is “under review” was made public,” Reinbold wrote. “Alaska Airlines sent information, including my name, to the media without my knowledge nor permission. I do believe constitutional rights are at risk under corporate covid policies,” the Facebook post continued.
“I inquired about mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter. The timing of complaint and a specific employee is of keen interest.”
Alaska Airlines has enforced a strict face mask policy since last May and long before a federal mask mandate was introduced by the Biden administration. The Seattle-based airline requires all customers over the age of two to wear a cloth face mask or other approved covering.
Customers with a medical exemption are permitted to travel but according to Alaska Airlines’ mask policy, they must provide written documentation from a licensed health care provider and proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72-hours of travel.
Reinbold was reportedly seen arguing with Alaska Airline staffers at Juneau airport over the policy resulting in police being called to the scene.
Last November, Reinbold wrote an angry Facebook post in response to another incident onboard an Alaska Airlines flight. “Mask bullies in full force on Alaskans Airlines,” she wrote.
“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.”
Despite this latest incident, Reinbold said she had a “pleasant flight” with “happy flight attendants and great talented pilots”.
“I hope to be on an Alaska Airlines flight in the near future,” the senator wrote. Alaska Airlines has not said how long the ban will last and that a review will be carried out in the near future.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.
I object to the mask policy. It isn’t strong enough.
Nobody wants to wear a mask. We all want our lives back. Customer service employees just want to live. We are tired of people knowingly exposing us to their illness. Most people who work customer service don’t receive paid sick leave. Their company’s often have punishments up to termination for calling out sick. We are in a pandemic. Wear one. If you get sick after the pandemic wear one. Let’s be kind to each other. Please don’t argue with employees about wearing masks. They are in a position we’re they can’t really argue with you. They don’t make the rules.
Thank you for your thoughtful response.
Kindness includes a conversation beyond spouting corporate policy Chris and with the same logic I could say stop being indoors in houses because over 80% of fire deaths happen indoors….
Drink the Kool-Aid all you want but if you are too scared stay home!
What if health care personnel decided it’s too risky for them to treat Covid patients?? Oh, okay, that’s different right?
This is what happens when you wear multiple masks and deprive your brain of oxygen…. you stop being rational!!
Be safe Chris because I want you to be. But stay quiet and go away….
Masks do not deprive the wearer of oxygen. “… On average, oxygen saturation was 96.1% before participants masked up, and then slightly higher while they wore masks and afterward — at 96.5% and 96.3%, respectively.”
This is quoted from a study provided by webmd.com and debunks many myths about mask-wearing. https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201103/dont-believe-the-myth-face-masks-dont-lower-oxygen-levels
The only people drinking the kool-aid are followers of Cult45 and QAnon, who are so anti-science as to be an embarrassment to all thinking Americans.
Please. Grow up; start acting like you live in a community of humans instead of on your own little planet full of crazies like you.
Oxygen levels may not drop from mask wearing but I always seem to run out of breath when walking while wearing one. Also causes problems when singing in church
I am a healthcare professional, and I wear a mask every day. And it doesn’t deprive me of oxygen. It never does. You are an ignorant moron, and you should be quiet and go away because you don’t know what you are talking about. You are spreading misinformation in the middle of a global pandemic. Shut up and stop posting. And wear a mask. We don’t want to inhale your filth.
Why are you so rude? Before pandemic you also had an issue with inhaling people’s “filth”? Or lack of oxygen made you aggressive?
Polite and accurate. Thank you.
The pandemic is over and has been for a while. If you don’t have at least one shot by now, it’s your own fault. This is just being dragged out by the V.I.C &Co. until the midterm elections. Wear a mask AFTER the pandemic? NO. Because it’s stupid. You can wear a mask forever. The rest of us see this for what it is. A ploy.
What planet are you on that the pandemic is over… I’d like to move there. Also, the vaccine is not available to some in more rural communities. Stop being a troll.
Your ignorance is astounding. The pandemic isn’t over. We’ve seen case spikes every time a state lifts the mandate. The vaccines have failed to establish control. People continue to refuse to wear masks, resulting in superbreeding. Eg iowa covid 19 deaths are up 29% since the mandate was lifted in that state. This number continues to rise thanks to magatards like you.
The pandemic is not over, far from it. Until at least 80% of all Americans get vaccines is not safe. Sure I have mine, but if Right Wing Billy at the grocery doesn’t, and he gets sick with a variant then any one even with a vaccine is at risk. Stay safe, wear a mask, get vaccinated.
The airline owns the plane they can set their own rules, just like you own your house and,set the rules. Quit being a self important KARAN.
Wait, so a lawmaking politician thinks she’s ABOVE the law? No…that’s not possible…I bet she didn’t even say “Do you know who I am?!?” And then to be stranded in Juneau by a customer service employee that she thinks has no power but is actually backed up by the U.S. Federal Government and it’s laws. Must be frustrating for her ego. “I hope to be on an Alaskan Airlines flight in the near future” cause there isn’t anything in Juneau and I’m bored here.
You as a elected official should be supporting anything that will promote health and safety. By ignoring any employee whose is following policy and procedures as well as federal mandates just shows what type of person you are. I hope you do not treat your own co-workers or employees in this manner. Shame on you..
I support my Senator, masks do not work nor protect against COVID (as stated on the box), and I encourage stronger legislation against the airlines that will make lawsuits against them easier. Fight back because we want our lives back.
Literally comments like this make your realize how stupid 49% of America is and why it’s a 2nd world country.
COVID comes in a a box? What do we need masks for them. Just don’t open the box! Geez.
Whether you agree with the Federal Law or Airline Policy about wearing masks, then don’t fly. When you are walking into a business you don’t own they can and should refuse to serve you if you don’t obide by there rules. It’s life. It’s a mask. Wear it when it’s required. You could also be courteous of others and wear it because it’s the kind thing to do. It’s a piece of cloth. It’s not really a big deal. No shirt, no service. No shoes, no service. No mask, no service. Boggles most of our minds why it’s so tough for some people to just wear the damn mask when required. The aircrew wear their masks hours on end with no break from them. I am fully vaccinated and comfortable to not wear a mask, but its such a simple thing to do for people who haven’t been able to find appointments for vaccinations or cannot take it due to allergic reaction and follow the rules of a business I don’t own.. Just be kind and think of others.
Not all businesses can refuse service because they own it. Businesses have been sued for refusing service because of religious beliefs and lost. So once the pandemic is past, businesses should not be able to refuse service to the anti maskers. That is discrimination.
It’s federal law. Arguing with employees marks one as a threat that employees are not paid enough to deal with.
Don’t like the masks, she’s a lawmaker, change the damn FEDERAL law.
Can you please cite the specific Federal Law?
I cannot find it. I have found administrative notices, but no laws, passed by Congress and signed into law by the Executive Branch which specifically mandate the wearing of masks on aircraft.
I agree we should all wear masks, but we also should not accept perpetuating falsehoods.
It’s not federal law, but what is federal law are medical mask exemptions. Those airlines took billions of bail out money of our tax payer dollars they should abide by federal law. The pandemic is also over, thousands and thousands of censored doctors said we are in an endemic, which means it’s over. There is also a trial in the Hague happening right now for crimes against humanity for this fake scamdemic. There are a few hundred labs suing the CDC because they can’t provide a single isolated case of covid. The 1500 covid positive cases they did send were all influenza A and B. This entire madness has been a scam and ruined millions of lives. The only way it stops is when we all say NO MORE
I’d like to get you in a room of grieving family members that have lost loved ones to Covid 19…and pull out your scam bs.
wow, so much ignorance in one post… as some one who was hospitalized in recently for COVID I can attest it is not a hoax, a scam, or over.
Stay safe, wear a mask, get vaccinated.
I love how stupid people think that a federal MANDATE set forth by the supposed pesident is law. There is no mask LAW, Joe Biden can not make a law. There is no federal mask law, that’s why thaw can’t arrest you for not complying. It’s absurd that an airline representative would mislead people and call it law, but he did and all other airlines make the exact false claim ecery time I fly. They take this mandate and illegally refer to it as law. Stupid is a stupid does.
There is no due process for an airline it’s not a federal court. She should have known better not to argue with a flight attendant. Their rule is law, and just because she’s making laws doesn’t mean she doesn’t have to listen to somebody else once in awhile.
Thankfully, the ongoing COVID vaccination will soon settle the “mask” issue, and masks will just be an unpleasant memory.
As a retired 30 year flight attendant with the biggest U.S. airline, l had to laugh that the author of this Alaska Airlines article refers to their passengers as “guests.” Come on. Passengers are not invited by Alaska A/L for a free ride as “guests.” They are paying customers who ought to be respected for giving their business to Alaska A/L. The writer of this article needs to recognize this fact. I’m enjoying a wonderful retirement pension and benefits, thanks to my Company/Union contract, and l am grateful for it. It would not be possible without the returning passengers who continue to give my former employer their business…which is absolutely earned by dedicated, hard-working employees.
Continue to enforce wearing the freaking masks per company policy and reassure your passengers that their safety is your top priority. You will benefit in the long run.
And shame on that lawmaker for making. the jobs of Alaska A/L flight attendants more difficult. They are just doing their jobs. Hopefully, she will not be re-elected…
I recall that Alaska A/L has had a superb reputation amongst other airlines as a company who treats their employees very well. Hopefully that will continue. A happy employee is a good employee.
Great for her to exercise her FREEDOM! If you don’t defend your freedom it will be taken away from you. Now she is free! She is free to drive 10 hours home. She is free to cycle home and enjoy the beautiful views! Or she has the freedom to walk or even hitchhike! That is freedom!
First, she is the “Karen”. Second, we have to comply with stupid rules every day. Example, I have to wear a seatbelt in a car or I can get a ticket but people can ride motorcycles. If you don’t want to wear a mask, find a different way to get there.
Blaming the airline for details leaking to social media? I was more likely a concerned citizen seeing her act like a Karen to the staff at the airport.
Stay safe, wear a mask, get vaccinated. Until we get heard immunity masks are important. And there are still so many anti-vaxers out there we may never get those numbers high enough, so please follow the rules yo protect your self and those around you.
There are other modes of travel out there. She can now avail herself of any one of those that don’t require her to mask up.
It doesn’t matter what people think, the airline has a policy and it’s up to them what they do when you break one. You don’t want to wear a mask, then don’t go to that airport, that’s on you.