Last week, a police officer responded to an Alaska Airlines terminal in Juneau as state Sen. Lora Reinbold clashed with staffers over mask rules. It was a familiar battle for the Republican lawmaker, a vaccine skeptic who has blasted flight attendants as “mask bullies” and accused the airline of “mask tyranny.”
Now, she isn’t welcome on their flights at all. Alaska Airlines this weekend banned Reinbold “for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy,” the airline said in a statement to The Washington Post.
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.
“Alaska I went to new heights to serve you & have a new appreciation for the marine ferry system,” Reinbold posted on Sunday night.
Reinbold also lashed out at the airline, claiming that her latest fight over mask rules was caused by “uptight employees at the counter” and arguing that Alaska Airlines was wrong to publicly confirm that she had been banned.
“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,” she wrote on Facebook.
Here we are, swimming in fucking vaccine while people in India are dying for lack of oxygen and medical care, and anti-vaxxer idiots like this woman flap their ignorant gums, oblivious of the fucking medical miracle that we enjoy because of our wealth and privilege.
In a similar vein, this weekend I heard a story from a young woman who had just returned from a family trip in Utah. Unknown to them, the mask mandate in that state had expired during her trip. She and her parents walked into a gas station with their masks on and were angrily refused service unless they took them off. What are the odds that the clerk refusing service was vaccinated? I put them somewhere between zero and none.
ETA: I just checked Google Maps, and they say it takes 19 hours (not 14) to go from Anchorage to Juneau. That includes an 8 hour ferry ride from Haines to Juneau. There is a fast ferry, but it’s currently closed due to COVID. Also, entry to Canada is possible but not guaranteed — you have to follow rules, including masking and social distancing.