Virgin America Squashes Incident, Welcomes Quarterback Back Aboard Any Time

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It turns out the incident involving Geno Smith at Los Angeles International Airport was a non-story.

The Jets quarterback was besieged last Friday after it was reported by two tabloid sites that he was either removed or asked to leave a Virgin America flight following some kind of dispute with airline employees.

But after further review, the ruling on the field was overturned, by none other than the airline itself.

“After a full review of the incident, we believe it was the result of a misunderstanding that regrettably escalated unnecessarily,” Virginia America said in a statement. “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.”

Both and TMZ Sports reported Smith was questioned and released by police officers without further incident. The conflict on board was believed to have stemmed from either cellphone or headphones use before the plane had taken off.

Smith reportedly told the tabloids on the scene last Friday not to believe everything they hear, and on Thursday said he has no hard feelings against the airline.

“I really appreciate that Virgin America took this seriously, looked into this matter and followed up with me,” Smith said in a statement via the team. “I look forward to flying their airline again soon.”

Smith had an up-and-down rookie season, but did end on a high note, leading the Jets to three wins in their last four games on their way to an 8-8 record, a feat many in the media thought they’d never achieve because the 2013 season figured to be a major rebuilding project.

The second-round pick out of West Virginia threw for 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, completing 56 percent of his passes. He also added 366 yards and six touchdowns rushing.

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