Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jetstar employee charged over check-in assault

The "f*ck you" airline again

Police have arrested and charged a Jetstar representative with assaulting New Zealand radio host Iain Stables. Shock jock Stables was left concussed following a scuffle with a check-in counter employee at Auckland Airport on Saturday, meaning he was unable to begin a new job at Radio Hauraki this week.

A spokeswoman for Counties Manukau police said a man, who represents Jetstar, had been arrested and would appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday.

Stables was set to begin a new job at Radio Hauraki yesterday, but instead spent the day nursing injuries. He said he arrived at the Jetstar counter three minutes after the airline's strict half-hour check-in time closed and was told by a male employee he could not fly. "I said: 'Mate, come on, don't you have any discretion here?' He said: 'If you want that, why don't you f... off to Air New Zealand?'"

Stables said he then told the man he was "a loser and you work for a loser airline".

He claimed that, as he turned away, the man punched him in the back of the head, before vaulting over the counter, punching him several more times, pushing him to the ground and kicking him in the back. The pair were separated by airport security.

Stables later travelled to Wellington, where he was treated for concussion, bruising and cuts. He intended 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."

Stables said claims that he had thrown something at the employee were not true. Counties Manukau police did not return calls yesterday but Jetstar confirmed in a statement that police were investigating.

The counter staff member was not a direct employee of Jetstar but of Skycare, a contracted firm. Skycare had stood the man down and was conducting its own investigation, which Jetstar was supporting, the statement said.

Air New Zealand was quick to seize on the incident, placing internet adverts that urged customers to "get flights, not into fights".


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