Alaskan Senator Faces Several Day Journey To Remote State Capitol After Being Banned From Airline
An Alaskan Senator embarked on a several day journey to the remote Alaska State Capitol, located in the state’s capital, Juneau, after being banned from an airline.
Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, was reportedly banned from flying on Alaska Airlines after she continually refused to adhere to mask-wearing requirements.
It was initially unclear how exactly Reinbold would be able to attend the Alaska Senate once legislative work resumed, with Alaska Airlines currently being the only airline to regularly schedule direct flights between Anchorage and Juneau.
Alaska Airlines spokesperson Tim Thompson told Anchorage Daily News:
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.
However, determined to make her way to the State Capitol on time for proceedings, Reinbold decided to embark on a several day journey by car and ferry, documenting her lengthy journey on Facebook.
In one post she wrote:
Alaska I went to new heights to serve you & have a new appreciation for the marine ferry system. 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! 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!
As per Alaska State Legislature, HB 76 is an act that would extend governor Mike Dunleavy’s declaration of a public health disaster emergency in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The passing of this bill would mean ‘approving and ratifying declarations of a public health disaster emergency’ and would provide for a financing plan.
It would also mean implementing temporary changes to state law in areas such as ‘occupational and professional licensing, practice, and billing; telehealth; fingerprinting requirements for health care providers’.
The bill has already been passed in the house, and various Senate Republicans have shown their support. However, Reinbold has expressed strong opposition, and appears determined to ‘kill’ the bill.
Giving an update upon her arrival at Juneau, Reinbold wrote:
Juneau has never looked so good and I am happier than ever to engage in the political battle….to help kill HB76. A good sign: as we approached Juneau 2 pods of killer whales were circling…
Alaska Airlines, which has so far banned 506 people as of Friday, April 23, will reportedly determine the length of Reinbold’s ban following a review process.
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CreditsLora Reinbold/Facebook and 2 others
Anchorage Daily News
Alaska State Legislature