The Potluck

Was Mort really banned from Delta? Only he and Delta know, and neither is saying

By: - May 24, 2022 8:40 am

State Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee

A Shakopee lawmaker who said he was banned for life from Delta Air Lines for refusing to wear a mask on a flight — hours after a Florida judge struck down the mask mandate — is refusing to provide proof he was banned.

State Rep. Erik Mortensen — a Shakopee Republican who has spent much of his first term decrying COVID-19 mitigation efforts and vaccines — says he was banned after an April 18 flight from Colorado to Minneapolis. 

He sent out a fundraising letter saying “leftists on a power trip at Delta” insisted he wear a mask despite the fact that hours earlier, a federal judge in Florida struck down the 2-year-old national mask mandate for airplane passengers.

Mortensen told the whole story in a fundraising email to his supporters, saying that after the plane landed, a flight attendant told him he was banned for life, to which he laughed and replied, “Delta doesn’t need to ban me, I’m banning Delta!” 

Later that day, Delta ended the mask mandate.

If someone is banned from the airline, they receive a letter or email saying so. Asked whether he received such a letter, Mortensen texted, “It’s clear you just hate my guts. People can see right through your ‘reporting.’” 

Mortensen used the incident as an opportunity to raise funds, asking people to send $12.86 because he was on flight 1286.

About 2,000 people were on a Delta mask non-compliance no-fly list before the mandate was lifted, after which the airline restored flight privileges for customers who “demonstrated an understanding of their expected behavior” when flying with Delta.

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Deena Winter
Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs. Before joining the staff of the Reformer in 2021 she was a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She and her husband have a daughter, son, and very grand child. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, jog, garden and attempt to check out all the best restaurants in the metro area.