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Alaska State Rep. Lora Reinbold talks to a security officer and an airline staff member. Photo: Twitter

Alaska state rep. banned from airline over mask rules

An Alaska State Rep. has been banned from an airline over mask rules.

Sen. Lora Reinbold says she was not informed personally of the ban by Alaska Airlines but read about it in news reports. At issue is her refusal to wear a mask.

In a statement, the Republican senator said the story should have stayed confidential until a thorough review of both parties had been completed.

“Ak Air: Until there is a fair determination, after thorough review of both sides, I believe this should be confidential. I learned about Ak Air decision before I knew there was even an inquiry and before I had a chance to talk to or discuss this with anyone at Alaska Air. I never received a warning via a yellow card per their policy either,” Reinbold wrote.

She said that the airline provided her personal information to the media without her knowledge or permission and there was no due process beforehand.

“I do believe constitutional rights are at risk under corporate covid policies,” she wrote.

To date, Alaska Airlines has banned at least 506 people.

Videos on Twitter appear to show the senator discussing the incident with the airline staff.

Reinbold said, in a statement: “I was reasonable with all Alaska Airlines employees. I have been flying on Alaska Air for decades and am an MVP gold. I inquired about mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter.

“The timing of complaint and a specific employee is of keen interest. The most divisive disaster bill hb76 is up Monday. I have been assured this be looked into.

“I was respectful of Alaska Airlines policies. We had a pleasant safe flight with happy flight attendants and great talented pilots. I hope to be on an Alaska Airlines flight in the near future.”

Reinbold has been a vocal opponent of COVID-19 regulations and has repeatedly objected to Alaska Airlines’ mask policy, which was enacted before the federal government’s mandate. The senator joins a growing list of officials and civil liberties experts that question their effectiveness. The CDC states that the only truly effective masks are N95 models and masks that have multiple layers with no gaps on the sides. Homemade or other cloth masks that are most commonly used by the public, including on airlines, are not recommended.

–Wire services