JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Airlines has banned an Alaska state senator for refusing to follow mask requirements.
"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," spokesman Tim Thompson told the Anchorage Daily News on Saturday, adding that the suspension was effective immediately.
Reinbold, a Republican of Eagle River, said that she had not been notified of a ban and that she hoped to be on an Alaska Airlines flight in the near future.
Last week, Reinbold was recorded in Juneau International Airport arguing with Alaska Airlines staff about mask policies. A video posted to social media appears to show airline staff telling Reinbold her mask must cover her nose and mouth.
Whoa! A source just sent this video of Sen. Reinbold at the Juneau airport. She was refusing to wear the mask and the police got involved! She’s also filming @AlaskaAir employees and asking for their names. Hyper loose. A second video is below. #akleg pic.twitter.com/EfaoSU3K9k— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) April 22, 2021
Reinbold told the newspaper that she had been inquiring about a "mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter."
"I was reasonable with all Alaska Airlines employees," she said, adding that she was able to board the flight to Anchorage.
Reinbold has been a vocal opponent to COVID-19 mitigation measures and has repeatedly objected to Alaska Airlines' mask policy, which was enacted before the federal government's mandate this year.
Last year, she referred to Alaska Airlines staff as "mask bullies" after being asked by flight attendants to wear a mask aboard a flight, the newspaper reported. After the incident, she reportedly sent a cake to some flight attendants bearing the inscription: "I'm sorry if I offended you."
Alaska Airlines has banned over 500 people.
Thompson said the length of Reinbold's ban will be determined by a review.
How to mask properly
What to do: Layer a cloth mask on top of a surgical or medical procedure mask. This helps the entire setup fit more snugly. Make sure the fit is comfortable and doesn’t have gaps around the sides of the face or nose.
What not to do: Do not combine two disposable masks, which are not designed to fit tightly. Wearing more than one disposable mask at a time will not improve fit. Also, do not wear a KN95 mask, a type of filtering face-piece respirator, with any other mask.
Cloth-mask dos: Choose a cloth mask made of multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric that includes a nose wire, which can help improve the mask’s fit. Does the mask block light when you hold it up to a bright light source? Then it’s a good construction.
Cloth mask don’ts: Stay away from cloth masks with exhalation valves or vents, which can allow respiratory droplets to leak into or out of a mask.
What to do: Other studies have found that placing a sleeve made of sheer nylon hosiery material around the neck and pulling it up over either a cloth or surgical mask significantly improved the wearer’s protection by fitting the mask more tightly to the face and reducing edge gaps.
Knotted ear loops
What to do: The CDC recommends knotting, folding then tucking the ear loops of 3-ply masks for a better fit — making the edges of the mask fit more tightly to your face. First, fold the mask in half lengthwise, lining up the corners and edges. Second, tie a knot with the elastic loops, as close as you can to the mask, according to an instructional video from the University of North Carolina’s UNC Health. Next, bend the metal nose mold so it fits the shape of your nose. Next, the knot will make the sides of the mask near the tied ear loops puff out. Fold those puffed-out edges in a pleat so it lays flat on your cheek. When putting on the mask make sure it fits snugly.
What not to do: Don’t wear more than one disposable mask at a time; handle the mask only by its ear loops, cords or head straps.
What about KN95: A KN95 shouldn’t need any modifying of the straps. Ideally, this type of mask can filter up to 95% of particles in the air; however, counterfeit KN95 masks make it hard to distinguish real KN95s from fake ones just by looking at them. Do not wear a KN95 mask with an exhalation valve, which can allow respiratory droplets to leak in or out of the mask. If you have facial hair, then this type of mask might not make a good fit. Do not combine a KN95 mask with another KN95 mask or any other type of mask.
What to do: Air leaks around the edges of a mask can be reduced by layering one of these devices on top of a cloth mask for a better fit. A recent study showed that when either a solid or elastic fitter is worn over a surgical mask, it can potentially increase the wearer’s protection by 90% for aerosols. A mask brace can be purchased online or made out of rubber bands. Former Apple product design engineer Sabrina Paseman, behind fixthemask.com, posted a tutorial that lays out the steps: First, chain three rubber bands together. Second, place the center rubber band in front of the mask around the chin and nose. Adjust fit and do a CDC seal check.