Comic Gilbert Gottfried on Overpacking and How the TSA Treats Him Worse Than Julie Andrews

Nov 19, 2016

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Gilbert Gottfried is as uncompromising as a packer as he is as a comic. The actor/voiceover artist/stand-up comedian, who has appeared in “Problem Child” and “Beverly Hills Cop 2,” dispenses some packing advice you might want to ignore. Here, the former voice of Aflac opens up about his best trip ever, packing as much as possible and how he’s been treated by the TSA.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

Years ago, the MGM Grand had an airline and if you were on a television show, they flew you out and it was amazing. I remember there was a problem with my seat and the MGM Grand had me placed in my own cabin, which would seat four with a curtain.

Did you ever join the mile-high club?

No, even though I was in a cabin that was designed for members of that club. Since a lot of actors and rock stars flew with the MGM Grand, I can only imagine what went on in that cabin! Of course, nothing interesting happened with me in that cabin.

Any travel horror stories?

Flights being cancelled is a constant problem. Luggage being lost is number two for me.

Got any packing tips?

I’ve gotten much worse as a packer as I’ve gotten older. I throw in an extra bag of socks and underwear. But I’m one of those people that doesn’t play tennis and I’ll bring a tennis racket and three extra outfits. Bring as much stuff as possible, especially if you don’t need it.

Are you a points guy?

Yes. We collect points but it’s not easy because of the time and date restrictions. I find that if I want to travel on Tuesday at 12:00pm, the next available flight for points (usage) is Sunday at 8:00am.

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?

The flight from New York to Hawaii. The thought of doing a comedy festival in Australia scares me.

Do you check your bag or carry it on?

I have so much luggage that I have to check it in, even though you have to pay for that. It’s so crazy now that some airlines rent you a pillow and a blanket. It’s ridiculous.

Favorite airline?

I don’t have a favorite airline — unless they sign me as their spokesman.

Favorite hotel:

Any hotel with a free breakfast.

Daytime flight or red-eye?

I hate red-eyes. I can’t sleep on a plane. I’m ruined for a day if I do the red-eye.

Are you TSA pre-approved?

The TSA thing is funny for me. The TSA guys have said, “Hey Gilbert, I saw you on ‘The Tonight Show’ and I loved you in ‘Problem Child,’ now empty out your suitcase.” I asked, “Why do you search me if you know me and you’re a fan?” They guy says, “You should have seen what we put Julie Andrews through last week.” So if they put Mary Poppins through hell, it’s a real nightmare for me. They treat me like Julie Andrews because they can.

Featured image courtesy of Kevin Winter via Getty Images.

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