Alaska State Senator, Barred From Alaska Airlines After Whining About 'Mask Tyranny,' Now Has to Commute by 14-Hour Ferry Ride

Illustration for article titled Alaska State Senator, Barred From Alaska Airlines After Whining About 'Mask Tyranny,' Now Has to Commute by 14-Hour Ferry Ride
Photo: Lora Reinbold’s Facebook page
Big Time Small-Time DicksWelcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals, and everything else making life miserable on a local level.

Alaska Republican and state Senator Lora Reinbold has made no secret of her disdain for public safety measures like wearing face masks, along with the covid-19 vaccine, which she recently described as “covid tyranny.” She’s even refused to wear a proper face mask while at work at the state capitol, a move that in March led her colleagues to ban Reinbold from most of the state capitol building until she starts following covid-19 safety requirements.

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Now, there’s another place she’s banned from, due to her belief that wearing a scrap of cloth over her nose and mouth to protect herself and others is tyranny—and that’s Alaska Airlines flights. Over the weekend, Alaska Airlines banned Reinbold from flying on their planes, telling the Washington Post in a statement that the ban is due to “her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy.”

The Alaska Airlines ban came after Reinbold was filmed recently at the Juneau airport throwing a snit and arguing with the airline’s employees over mask wearing:

According to a Facebook post written by Reinbold, she was merely “inquir[ing] about mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter” and she “was respectful of Alaska Airlines policies.” “Constitutional rights are at risk under corporate covid policies,” she warned darkly. But this wasn’t the first time she went after Alaska Airlines over its mask policy. Last year, she ranted on Facebook that a fellow passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight—a “scaredy cat Karen”—“whined loudly” when Reinbold in her own words took her “dumb worthless suffocating mask off.” Alaska Airlines, she continued, “is part of mask tyranny.” “I hope they get sued for being ridiculous! They are wrongly giving medical advise [sic] without a medical license, against the advise [sic] of doctors, and should be sued for forcing medical advise [sic] without a license—it’s simply wrong and will hurt their bottom kind [sic]!”

Because this is Alaska, where commercial flights do not abound, this new ban puts Reinbold in a pickle entirely of her making. Via the Washington Post, emphasis my own:

That’s a serious problem for the lawmaker, because Alaska Airlines operates the only regular flights to the state capital from her home in the Anchorage area, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Reinbold scrambled on Sunday to get to Juneau via an arduous 14-plus-hour car ride, including a jaunt through Canada, to reach a ferry to the capital.

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On Sunday night, Reinbold posted on Facebook that she “went to new heights” to serve Alaskans and that she has “a new appreciation for the marine ferry system.” She apparently forced her husband to make the 14-hour trip with her on his birthday. “Nothing could get in the way to be in the Capitol to fight to executive branch infringement on the legislature & defending your rights by trying to stop HB76 which is on the Senate floor tomorrow!” she added. HB76, in case you are curious as I was curious, is an extension of the state’s covid-19 emergency disaster declaration.

No word yet on how Reinbold plans on making her way back home to Anchorage.

Senior reporter, Jezebel

DISCUSSION

manicotti
Manic Otti

Granted, wearing a mask AND glasses is roughly 1000 times more annoying than wearing either one alone. But I’ve been doing it for a year now, so she can shut up and enjoy her stupid ferry ride.