Jets' Smith receives apology from airline

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Geno Smith and Virgin America airline might fly together again, after all.

The New York Jets quarterback received an apology from the airline Thursday following a dispute with a flight attendant.

In joint statements released by the Jets, Virgin America said it reviewed the incident that occurred last Friday at Los Angeles International Airport.

''We believe it was the result of a misunderstanding that regrettably escalated unnecessarily,'' Virgin America said. ''We've apologized to Mr. Smith for his experience, which could have been better - and we'd welcome him back onboard any time. As an airline that prides itself on our guest service, we take incidents such as this one very seriously.''

Neither statement included details on what happened, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press last Friday that a flight attendant asked Smith to remove his headphones and an argument ensued.

Smith was on a flight scheduled to take off from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when an attendant asked Smith to remove his headphones and an argument ensued, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official report was filed to or by the airport. Smith, who recently completed his rookie season with the Jets, got up and asked to speak to a supervisor before leaving the plane on his own and talking with police at the gate before leaving.

''I really appreciate that Virgin America took this seriously, looked into this matter and followed up with me,'' Smith said in his statement. ''I look forward to flying their airline again soon.''

Smith, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia last April, had an up-and-down rookie season as the Jets went 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the third straight year. He threw 21 interceptions and just 12 touchdowns, but set a team rookie record with 3,046 yards passing and played well down the stretch to help the Jets win three of their last four games.


AP NFL website:

Tagged: Jets

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