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Alaska Airlines bans GOP state senator for refusing to follow COVID mask policies

Instead of flying, the state lawmaker used a boat and a car to reach the state's capital.

Updated: April 26, 2021 - 4:19pm

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Alaska Airlines has banned state GOP Sen. Lora Reinbold from its flights after she continuously refused to follow the airline's COVID-19 mass requirements.

"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," the airline said Saturday, according to the Anchorage Daily News."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." 

The ban will make it hard for Reinbold to return to work when the state Senate resumes meeting Monday. No other airline has regularly scheduled direct flights between Anchorage and the Alaska capital of Juneau.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Reinbold shared that she was going back to Juneau, by boat/ferry and road.

"Alaska I went to new heights to serve you & have a new appreciation for the marine ferry system," she said in the post. "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!"

The ferry ride alone is roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes. 

Alaska Airlines said the length of her ban would be reviewed. As of last Friday, the airlines had banned 506 people from flying.

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