Alaska Sen. Lora Reinbold Drove 700 Miles to State Capitol After She Was Banned From Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines said it had suspended State Senator Lora Reinbold from flying because she refused to comply with its mask rules.
An Alaska Senator is temporarily suspended from traveling on Alaska Airlines flights for allegedly violating its mask policies, the company announced.
Senator Lora Reinbold (R-AK) was captured on camera talking to employees and a police officer at Juneau International Airport after she was apparently not wearing her mask properly.
Reinbold, who was on her way to the state Capitol in Juneau to vote in opposition to a piece of legislation, insisted that her mask was covering her nose but an airline employee insisted that it was not.
"It is not," an employee is heard saying on the video. "It's down below your nose. We can't have it down."
It is not clear what prompted the employee to approach the politician.
Reinbold learned on Saturday that she was banned from flying with the airline.
“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, adding that the suspension is being reviewed.
The senator told radio host Tom Anderson that the timing of her ban was "very interesting" during a guest appearance on the show Monday.
She said in a Facebook post that she was suspended before getting a chance to speak to someone from the airline.
"I just got an email. It blew me away that they wouldn't even get my side of the story," she told Anderson, adding, "This story is really getting a different portrayal than what actually happened," she added.
The lawmaker did not immediately respond to a request from Inside Edition Digital Tuesday to further explain her side of the story.
Determined to make it to the state Capitol, Reinbold and her husband drove more than 700 miles from her home in Eagle River through parts of Alaska and part of the Yukon to the Southeast town of Haines, where she then took a five-hour ferry ride to Juneau, she said on the radio show.
She called the drive "amazing," citing all the wildlife she saw along the way.
"There was nobody who was going to get in my way," she said, referencing House Bill 76.
The lawmaker was able to make it to the Senate floor early Monday, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
She had her sights set on Juneau to vote in opposition to Alaska House Bill 76, which would renew Gov. Mike Dunleavy's public health emergency declaration from January 2021 until January 2022. The bill would give the state commissioner of health and social services the authority to declare an emergency during the pandemic.
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