An Alaska senator has filed a petition asking to be excused from in-person votes in the state’s remote capitol because her ban by Alaska Airlines for mask non-compliance makes it almost impossible for her to get to Juneau located around 600 air miles from her home in Anchorage.
Senator Lora Reinbold submitted a procedural request on Thursday, according to the Alaska Daily News, asking to be excused from attending the Capitol to take part in votes that normally require lawmakers to be present in Juneau in person.
Reinbold, who once railed against the “mask bullies” at Alaska Airlines, said she should be granted an excusal because “there’s no airline that flies into Juneau other than Alaska Airlines that I’m aware of.”
The Eagle River Republican was barred from flying with Alaska Airlines following at least two mask-related incidents. Reinbold has been on Alaska’s no-fly list since April when she was seen at Juneau airport arguing with Alaska staffers resulting in the police being called.
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.”
Only Alaska Airlines flies direct from Anchorage to Juneau, while Delta Air Lines does operate a service from Seattle to Juneau.
Reinbold has flown with Delta on at least one occasion, flying more than 1,400 miles south to Seattle and connecting onto another flight to Juneau. That route, however, will soon be cut off because Delta only serves Juneau as a summer seasonal route.
According to ADN, Reinbold has also managed to reach Juneau by driving through Canada and then taking a ferry to reach the state Capitol. That route can take several days.
“Driving through Canada is a long haul and complicated and restrictive process,” Reinbold noted in her petition.
The federal face mask mandate is currently enforce through January 18, 2022, although President Biden could choose to extend the mandate yet again. Alaska Airlines is likely to keep Reinbold on their no-fly list until at least the point at which the mandate is lifted.
She has openly criticized the airline over the ban, saying it was enforced without “due process” and that details of the ban were leaked to the media first before she was informed.
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.