Update from Alaska Airlines: “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. “
Sources tell Must Read Alaska that Alaska Airlines has decided Sen. Lora Reinbold is no longer a customer they wish to do business with for the next 30 days.
An email has gone out to all Alaska Airlines personnel telling them that Reinbold is on the company’s no-fly list, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Must Read Alaska has confirmed this with two other sources with knowledge of the letter, but has not confirmed it with the airlines or Reinbold. Update: The airlines said it has no comment at this time. The message to employees appears to be part of the updates that customer-facing employees receive at the beginning of their shifts.
On Thursday, Sen. Reinbold was seen in a video in a confrontation with airport security and Alaska Airlines personnel who were telling her to raise her mask above her nose in the Juneau International Airport. The situation on the video was tense. Employees in the downstairs area at the airport said they felt threatened by her in a separate interaction; that episode has not been seen on video, however.
Alaska Airlines is enforcing federal law, which says people must wear nose and mouth coverings in airports. Bystanders said that in the downstairs part of the airport, where check-in and baggage claim is, Reinbold was not wearing her mask over her nose or mouth.
Her refusals to put on her mask while a passenger on the airlines and also within the Alaska Capitol are well documented. Recently, she was fined $250 for not properly wearing her mask while in the Capitol.
Must Read Alaska sent a text message asking Reinbold if she was aware of the sanction placed on her and she has not answered that question.
Update: Reinbold responded:
“I was reasonable with all Alaska Airlines employees. I have been flying on Alaska Air for decades amd 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. 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.”
She then posted a note to Alaska Airlines on her Facebook page:
“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 recieved a warning via a yellow card per their policy either. There was no due process before a temporary decision that is “under review” was made public. 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.”
Reinbold is not in the Capitol, as she boarded that flight on Thursday to head to Anchorage for the weekend. It’s unclear how she will get back, but her options are to charter a flight or to drive the Alaska Highway to Haines, and board a small plane, a state ferry or private boat for the final stretch.