Budget Airline Check-In Worker Hits Passenger

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A New Zealand radio "shock jock" says he was punched by a check-in clerk when he tried to catch a flight in Auckland, and ended up in the hospital. And now he may sue the airline.

The DJ, Iain Stables, admits he arrived late for the flight on budget airline Jetstar. But when he tried to argue his way on anyway, he says the check-in clerk leaped across the counter and attacked him.

According to witnesses, airport security guards had to separate the two men as they tussled on the floor of the Auckland airport's domestic departures area.

After being treated at the hospital for what he says was a concussion, bruises and cuts, Stables flew to Wellington a day after he had planned.

Stables admits that during the argument he told the man he was "a loser and you work for a loser airline." But he says it was the clerk who started the violence, and he plans to file a civil claim against Jetstar.

"I know I can push things at times, but I don't expect someone to jump over a counter and attack me," he says.

The airline, which is owned by Qantas, says the worker is a contract employee and has been put on leave while an investigation is conducted. Police are also investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, rival airline Air New Zealand quickly jumped into the fray, running ads on websites urging customers to "get flights, not into fights."

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