Joan Rivers On Her Costa Rica Airport Incident: I’m ‘Not Going To Put A Bomb In A Chanel Bag’
First Published: January 6, 2010 4:44 PM EST Credit: George Starbuck/Access Hollywood
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Joan Rivers may be a showbiz legend, a fashion accessory queen and the most recent winner of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” but even she was no match for airport security.
Over the holidays, the funny lady was bumped from a flight home from Costa Rica and she told Access Hollywood all about it.
After vacationing in Costa Rica with her daughter, Melissa Rivers, Joan tried to depart the idyllic vacationing spot, but she was stopped from boarding a flight headed for Newark by airport personnel.
“What happened was I got a lady who was pre-menstrual,” an angry, but still joking Joan, said. “I got a lady who didn’t want to know that they had made a mistake. Didn’t understand the passport. That it was an, ‘also-known-as.’
“Look at me,” Joan continued. “I am 76 years old, traveling alone and a woman standing there saying, ‘I only have a hundred dollars what do I do?’ And no one said, ‘Let us help you, let us take care of you.’”
The employee took issue because Joan’s passport listed her as Joan Rosenberg, AKA Joan Rivers, and her boarding pass, which she admits she didn’t look at, said “John [or] Joseph instead of Joan.”
Rosenberg was the last name of Joan’s late husband Edgar.
The employee eventually went so far as to give Joan’s seat away.
“Then I ran out into the tarmac,” Joan said of what happened after she was turned down for boarding at the gate. “I thought maybe the pilot will recognize me and I was [waving my arms] in front of this big supersonic. No, they got the police to come after me. And then I ran back in because I didn’t want to end up in a jail.”
To get home, Joan traveled to a different airport.
“I took a six-and-a-half hour drive across Costa Rica to go to the San Jose Airport and then I stayed overnight and it was OK,” she said.
Joan was able to fly home the next day without the stigma of being a security risk.
“I’m Jewish. What am I going to have?” she laughed. “If I have anything strapped to my waist, it’s a bagel. [And I’m] an American woman. We’re not going to put a bomb in a Chanel bag and have it blow up because what if the bomb doesn’t blow up and you’ve ruined a bag. We’re not going to do this. Priorities!
“See, now they have the watch list,” she continued. “I think they should also have a ‘Don’t Bother To Watch’ list and the number one person on that would be Rue McClanahan. Let her through. It’s Rue McClanahan? Just let her through.”
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